Can You Spot the Pumpkin Pie in This Thanksgiving Spread?

The slice of pie is hidden within the seasonal smorgasbord.
This Thanksgiving brainteaser will have you dreaming of a festive feast.
This Thanksgiving brainteaser will have you dreaming of a festive feast. /

Already dreaming of pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving season? We’ve got the hidden image puzzle for you.

In 2018, put together this “Can You Spot It?” game featuring a whole spread of Thanksgiving foods, including turkey, Brussels sprouts, squash, and a variety of desserts. See if you can find the slice of pumpkin pie hidden among the festive feast below.

brainteaser of thanksgiving foods featuring a hidden pumpkin pie
Dig in. /

Each dish featured in the above hidden image puzzle has an interesting Thanksgiving history. Take turkey, for example. Turkey did live in the Americas in the 17th century, and written records of the first Thanksgiving feast do mention wild fowl. However, we don’t know what particular fowl those in attendance ate (they could have had geese, or perhaps duck). 

Turkeys became increasingly popular as the years went on. They were big enough to feed a family, and relatively easy to keep. As Alexander Hamilton put it, “No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day.” The birds were solidified as the Thanksgiving fowl of choice in the 19th century, after President Abraham Lincoln deemed the occasion a national holiday. 

The image also contains Brussels sprouts, a classic Thanksgiving side dish. And fortunately, the greens we chow down on taste a lot better than the ones our ancestors ate. There’s a reason that TV trope about kids not eating their Brussels sprouts exists: The vegetables really did taste bad. Mechanized harvesting resulted in crops of bitter sprouts. But in the 1990s, a group of Dutch biotechnologists identified the chemical compounds responsible for the bitterness and were able to selectively breed the plants to make them more palatable. The fact that people started roasting rather than boiling the veggies improved their culinary appeal, too.

And we can’t forget the history of pumpkin pie, which definitely wasn’t served at the first Thanksgiving—they wouldn’t have had the butter or flour necessary for the crust. Pumpkin pie became popular in the Americas in the 1700s; one cookbook from that era includes recipes for “pompkin pudding” that featured pumpkin mixed with nutmeg, allspice, and ginger. A century later, Sarah Josephine Hale, the so-called “Mother of Thanksgiving,” wrote a novel that strongly associated the dessert with the holiday.

Now that you’ve learned a bit of Thanksgiving food history, check out the answer to the hidden image puzzle below.

The Solution

hidden image puzzle of thanksgiving food showing highlighted pumpkin pie
There it is! /

A version of this story originally ran in 2018; it has been updated for 2023.