Turkey Triumphs Thanksgiving

Madelynn Foulkrod
Staff Writer

Credit: The Spruce Eats

    Thanksgiving is a very special holiday to countless families. Most people scramble to cook their holiday meals early in order to be prepared in time for November 25th, the feast-filled day which precedes Christmas. 

    Each family’s Thanksgiving meal is different. However, the most common Thanksgiving foods are turkey, turkey stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, and dinner rolls. 

    At least some of these foods typically make an appearance in several families’ traditional Thanksgiving dinners, and they’ve been in high demand for this holiday season ever since 1621. Although many staple Thanksgiving dishes are actually considered to not really have been eaten on the very first Thanksgiving, this doesn’t stop the common trend of foods such as pumpkin pie being made on every annual Thanksgiving to this day.

   On the first Thanksgiving, foods like venison, wildfowl, corn, bread, porridge, cod, bass, and flint were gratefully shared between colonists and native Americans. Now though, it’s safe to say that these foods have adapted and changed to fit into today’s preferred tastes and appearances.

  Venison, or deer meat, seems to have been replaced with turkey. Other more “dated” Thanksgiving servings have also been replaced with more “time-appropriate” foods. As our traditional Thanksgiving meals have evolved, it’s safe to say that there’s quite the debate of which Thanksgiving dish is the absolute best.

    Which Thanksgiving dish is triumphant over all the rest? Well, it’s definitely turkey. Which is by far, the most popular and loved dish of all Thanksgiving foods. 

  Turkeys were first regarded as a uniquely remarkable animal because of William Bradford, a colonist who wrote of how colonists had often hunted turkeys near the time of the very first Thanksgiving. Therefore, the belief of turkey meat being presented at the first Thanksgiving celebration gained lots of traction.

    This notion was only encouraged after Abraham Lincoln officially declared Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1863, which was when American citizens began to frequently feast upon turkey. Thus, the bird earned a permanent place as Thanksgiving’s most well-known icon and manys’ favorite meal. 

    Not only was turkey popularized as Thanksgiving’s main course for its historical significance, but also its taste. Making turkey widely regarded as the best Thanksgiving dish of all time. 

 It’s a food for practically everyone, turkey, and the meal can evoke almost any sort of taste with effort. Turkey can be dry, juicy, urban, tangy, anything you could possibly think of, depending on the way it’s cooked. 

    The plainness of a turkey can be easily adapted into an ethnic taste with some basic seasoning or oiling. So many people love turkey because of its natural tastiness, but also for its ability to be enhanced with flavor.

     Perhaps establishing turkey as the best Thanksgiving dish could be seen as underwhelming, or bland. But its place as the best Thanksgiving dish surely is deserved. Turkey is, undeniably, the cultural symbol of Thanksgiving. Of course, not every family will get a turkey for their Thanksgiving, or agree of its superiority over other dishes.

 “You can’t have Thanksgiving without Turkey,” Is a rather popular phrase though, that highlights the heavy amount of the population that deems turkey as such a great Thanksgiving dish, that Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without it. 

     Regardless of any turkey haters out there, turkey will forever remain a Thanksgiving icon and a nationally preferred meal for the fall holiday. Turkey’s diversity, history, and its significance to many earns its title as the best Thanksgiving dish.

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