Thanksgiving dinners in America, and the dishes we serve, may seem to be the traditional dinner everyone eats on this most thankful day of the year. Not so. What each family considers to be the perfect dishes on this 'turkey day' may be completely different to someone living in a different part of the country. What is traditional for you depends on where you live and also the culture you grew up in. Let's explore a few different regions and see what is commonly served for Thanksgiving dinner.
*A few recipe links are sprinkled throughout the following food descriptions if you want to try adding them to your Thanksgiving menu.
Turkey or Other Main Meats
- Baked turkey with stuffing is the traditional Thanksgiving Day main dish.
- Fried turkey is popular in the South, especially in Texas.
- Ham is often served in addition to turkey, especially for large gatherings.
|Image Source: Pixabay|
- The South prefers cornbread stuffing with their turkey
- In the New England states you will find clams or oysters mixed with the breadcrumbs in the stuffing.
- In the Northeast, the stuffing is made with sausage.
- The Southwest is known for their Tex-Mex style stuffing due to their large Latino population. A favorite one is Blue Cornmeal Chorizo Stuffing, which includes Chorizo sausage and serrano peppers in the blue corn bread crumbs.
|Image Sources: Pixabay & AllRecipes|
- Creamed onions made with pearl onions and heavy cream is a tradition in New England.
- Saurkraut is a staple for Thanksgiving dinner in Maryland, particularly in Baltimore due to their large German-American population. And Maryland crab cakes and corn-on-the-cob is often served.
- Italian-Americans in New Jersey & parts of New York State traditionally serve Manicotti (ricotta-stuffed crepe pasta topped with marinara sauce) before the turkey is served. Or lasagna and baked ziti with meatballs are known to grace the table as well.
- The Northeastern quadrant of the country insists on homemade cranberry relish or sauce with this holiday dinner.
- The West and Southwest states serve a sweetened, fruity pasta salad which is made with pasta, pineapples, mandarin oranges, Cool Whip, and marshmallow topping. It's called Frog Eye Salad.
- In Utah, Jell-O salad is an important side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.
- The most traditional side dish in the Midwest is Green Bean Casserole.
- In the upper Midwest, German Potato Salad is a favorite side dish.
- In Minnesota and Wisconsin, wild rice casserole is a tradition. Ingredients include mushrooms, pecans, and onions, and other variations.
|Image Source: Pixabay|
- Pumpkin pie always seems to be the traditional Thanksgiving dessert, but this is actually a mainly Northeastern states dessert.
- The South is famous for their Sweet Potato Pie.
- New England is known for it's Hasty Pudding (originally known as Indian Pudding), a delicious and simple dessert made with cornmeal, molasses, brown sugar, and spices. It's usually topped with whipped cream or scoop of ice cream.
- The Midwest Region favors Cherry Pie over Pumpkin.
Other Regional T-Day Dinner Traditions
- In New Mexico and other Southwestern states, the food word is 'spicy'. It's popular to add chile to everything, gravy, stuffing, and even a chile-rub for the turkey.
- Southern traditions include a large variety of foods for the Thanksgiving table, including several types of macaroni and cheese, okra pickles, cornbread, and sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping. And, of course, lots of collard greens.
What is your favorite dish or combination of dishes for Thanksgiving Dinner?
Whatever your Thanksgiving menu includes, the contributors of ReviewThisReviews wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.
*Regional Thanksgiving Dinners written by (c) Wednesday Elf (11/21/2020)
FOLLOW US ON: