Cranberry sauce is listed pretty close to the top of many “quintessential Thanksgiving foods” lists, right up there with turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie. But do Americans actually like to eat the sweet, sticky jelly? According to two different surveys, not really.
The Takeout reports that Instacart, with the help of The Harris Poll, asked 2000 adults a series of questions about their Thanksgiving habits and opinions, and found that 46 percent of participants think canned cranberry sauce is “disgusting.” Still, that doesn’t seem to stop them from buying it—last Thanksgiving, Instacart sold 50 percent more canned cranberry sauce than fresh cranberries.
The “ew” factor doesn’t seem to deter everyone from serving it up sliced, either: 31 percent of people surveyed don’t mash up their canned cranberry sauce before giving it to their hungry guests.
In WalletHub’s study, based on Twitter data, only 3 percent of participants named cranberry sauce as their favorite Thanksgiving dish, compared to a whopping 39 percent of people who think turkey trumps all, and 23 percent who prefer to stuff themselves with stuffing. While this doesn’t necessarily prove that anybody hates cranberry sauce, it does imply that very few people consider it the crowning jewel of the meal.
So if people don’t seem to like cranberry sauce, especially the canned variety, why have it at all? Instacart’s results suggest that the polarizing side dish has remained a holiday staple simply for tradition’s sake; 29 percent of participants responded that although they dislike cranberry sauce, they eat it anyway because of tradition.
And it’s true that cranberry sauce certainly has been an active member of the Thanksgiving party for some time now, though it didn’t exactly start out as a dense, sugary cylinder. Find out how it came to be—and why we might’ve started eating it on Thanksgiving in the first place—here.
[h/t The Takeout]