While historic accounts vary regarding what, exactly, was eaten at the first Thanksgiving feast, what type of food was definitely not present in 1600s New England, when Pilgrims first arrived?
Potatoes, which are native to South America, hadn’t been introduced to North America yet, and weren’t established crops there until the 1700s.
This type of food is not common on traditional Thanksgiving tables now, but probably would have been served at the first Thanksgiving meal.
Coastal settlements meant plenty of seafood, especially shellfish like lobster, oysters, clams and mussels.
This Thanksgiving staple was invented in the 1950s by a Campbell Soup Company employee named Dorcas Reilly, with the hope of boosting sales of one of Campbell’s products.
Reilly invented the “Green Bean Bake,” as it was first called, specifically as a new way to use Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup. It wasn’t originally intended as a Thanksgiving favorite, but quickly became one.
Though they’re often used interchangeably, what is the biggest technical difference between stuffing and dressing?
It’s really a potato, potahto kind of situation, but strictly speaking, stuffing is cooked inside the turkey (and used to “stuff”) and dressing is cooked in a separated dish (and used to “dress”).
What is the most popular Thanksgiving side dish, according to a 2020 YouGov poll?
The spuds have it! When matched up head-to-head with other dishes, mashed potatoes came out on top 78% of the time.
While sweet potatoes were readily available in America during the first Thanksgiving, the marshmallow-topped version wasn’t popularized until much later. Who do we have to thank for this gooey addition?
Ancient Egyptians were the first people to make sweet treats out of the mallow plant, but it was French confectioners who were the first to whip the substance into the fluffy little clouds we know and love.
What’s the name of the organic compound found in turkey that many people blame for post-feast sleepiness?
Tryptophan is the compound, but that’s probably not the reason you feel groggy after a full plate. There’s actually more tryptophan in chicken, so blame the abundance carbs — or just the overeating — instead.
While both the Pilgrims and the indigenous tribes in North America ate pumpkins, pumpkin pie was not popularized in the US for years after the first Thanksgiving feast. However, early English settlers were known to make another ingenious pumpkin dessert. What was it?
A custard made with honey and milk and then roasted in a hollowed-out pumpkin sounds just as good as a pumpkin pie!
Which Thanksgiving food is an example of a cooking technique known as “engastration?”
“Engastration” is when one animal is cooked or prepared in the, er, gastric tract of another — just like a turducken (turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken).
Which US state raises the most turkeys, according to data from the USDA?
It’s Minnesota! The Land of 10,000 Lakes led the pack in 2020 with 40 million turkeys raised.