Okay, get your arguin’ pants on, everybody, because we’ve got a Thanksgiving map for you. This one features America’s favorite Thanksgiving sides by state. It’s provided by Zippia, a career resource site which used Google Trends to determine each state’s most-searched side.
The Zippia team based its data on a pre-determined list of classic Thanksgiving side dishes, and they did make some calls that you might consider controversial—for example, labeling gravy a side, because it’s not a main dish (nor a drink, as they joked). The team also analyzed search trends from November of last year, so if any big changes happen in 2021, we won’t know until later.
Keeping those things in mind, here’s the skinny. The top pick? A classic: mashed potatoes. Nine states have crowned mashed potatoes the cream of the Thanksgiving crop: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois (The Takeout’s home state), Massachusetts, Nevada, and Oregon.
Other states chose more non-traditional sides: for example, Alaska’s pick of stuffed mushrooms, Delaware’s choice of mashed cauliflower potatoes, Kentucky’s and Tennessee’s hashbrown casserole, and Minnesota and Missouri’s pick of a charcuterie tray.
The charcuterie tray is interesting. My guess is that it’s not actually a Thanksgiving side; it’s just that these two states must be disproportionately searching for charcuterie ideas for holiday party entertaining purposes.
Otherwise, carby sides are the general overall pick. Along with the potatoes, think rolls, crescent rolls, stuffing and dressing, sweet potatoes; all the usual suspects. Mac and cheese was picked by only two states, Virginia and Vermont. (Real question: Is mac and cheese a traditional Thanksgiving side? It isn’t in my family.) Creamed corn makes two appearances too, beloved by both Texas and Kansas (blech).
The aforementioned gravy search spiked in Arkansas (white gravy), and Montana (turkey gravy), which makes me wonder. Maybe people in those states just take their gravy seriously.
If you’ve got a few minutes, take a look at the Thanksgiving sides map and let us know if you take issue with the results. We all know you like a good-natured tussle in the comments section.