The Quick 10: 10 Thanksgiving Foods You Might Not Be Having
I can't wait for Thanksgiving. It's one day where you don't have to worry about the calorie content of what you're eating (maybe you should, but most of us probably don't) "“ the gorge-fest is encouraged and expected. But what I might be looking forward to stuffing my face with isn't the same thing you might be looking forward to chowing on "“ here are a few regional favorites that may or may not show up on your dinner table, depending on where you are.
1. Quail. Texas Monthly suggests that quail is more appropriate as the centerpiece of the meal because it's native to Texas. Texans, tell us "“ is Texas Monthly correct? No tryptophan for you?
2. Sauerkraut. Some Mid-Atlantic regions, especially Baltimore, find that this is a staple on the day of thanks. Pre-WWII, Baltimore had a huge German community. Although this may not necessarily be the case now, the tradition lives on, and may I say: yum. I can eat sauerkraut right out of the can. Any Baltimoreans have an extra spot at the table this year? Um, and a plane ticket?
3. Sweet potato casserole (and pie). I don't need to tell you Southerners that a Thanksgiving without this is practically a crime. I told Neely that my mom made sweet potato casserole for the first time just last year, and I'm glad I relayed that information over e-mail. Had we been face-to-face, I think she might have slapped me.
4. Lefse. I'm told that Midwesterners often have lefse at their Thanksgiving dinner, but I can't vouch for that myself. I suspect it applies to more Norwegian/Scandanavian areas such as Minnesota. There are a couple kinds of lefse "“ a thicker, sweet version that is served with coffee, and a thin, tortilla-like flatbread that is used to roll up sausages or fish.
5. Lasagna. If you're in an Italian-American household, spotting the delicious layered noodle dish on the table shouldn't be much of a surprise.
6. Beaujolais Nouveau. The first bottles of this wine come out the third week of November every year, leading some people to declare it the Thanksgiving wine. The tradition actually started in Paris "“ the wine was made at the end of the harvest season to celebrate another successful year, and people would race to the City of Lights to be the first to get the latest batch. By the 1980s the tradition had caught on across Europe, and these days it has even spread to North America and Asia.
7. Sweet Kugel. In some Jewish households, you might find a sweet noodle dish sitting alongside the pumpkin and apple pies. The sweet kugel is made from noodles, eggs, milk, cinnamon, raisins, sweet cheese and sugar (or variations of it). There's also savory kugel, which is kind of a noodle casserole with onions and other veggies, but that is apparently less commonly found at Thanksgiving.
8. Mole and roasted corn. Mexican Americans sometimes honor their heritage by serving the traditional turkey with a side of mole (the sauce, not the animal) and corn. Yum!
9. Stuffing. OK, stuffing is probably pretty much served at Thanksgiving meals across the board. But it's what you put in the stuffing that might set you apart from other areas. In New England and other coastal regions, oyster stuffing is the thing. Other areas will throw in apples, raisins, chestnuts, giblets or sausage. I know I'm probably going to get flamed for these, but give me plain old Stove Top. I love it.
10. Turducken. You already know this, I'm sure, but Turducken is a chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey. Mmm. I was going to write that those who are celebrating the holiday with John Madden will be feasting on Turducken this year, but that's not the case. When someone brought a homemade sign to Sunday Night Football last year that said, "JOHN MADDEN, BRING BACK TURDUCKEN," Madden said that he's done with the triple-threat and now serves regular old turkey at his Thanksgiving dinners.
So, can you vouch for any of these? And if not these, what item is a staple at your house that might be a little outside of the tried-and-true turkey, potatoes, cranberry sauce and pie?