Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. I’m particularly fascinated by it because all my family of my parents’ generation are immigrants to the United States. Our culinary mashups have evolved into something extraordinary.
Our typical Thanksgivings (canceled this year, boo pandemic) are potluck, buffet style, and enormous, so we generally have a fine mix of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, kimchi, multiple types of pajeon (Korean pancakes), tteok (Korean rice cakes), and all sorts of random things like White Castle sliders and shrimp cocktail.
But when I was growing up, it was interesting to see what my friends’ families ate too, and I’m still endlessly curious about it. I’m more interested in the weird dishes, because there’s either a funny story about their origin at the table, or nobody actually knows where these things came from, which is also funny.
This list from Zippla has listed the most popular Thanksgiving sides by state, using Google Trends. I live in Illinois and apparently everyone here eats mashed potatoes. Other state’s answers aren’t surprising, like green bean casserole, stuffing, mac and cheese. But the outliers I’ve listed here are interesting to me and I am curious about them.
- Oregon: Biscuits
- Alaska: Hashbrown casserole
- Wyoming: Brown gravy (like...to sip on?)
- Indiana: Deviled eggs
- Maine: Side salad
Biscuits (Oregon) aren’t a stretch. I mean, they’re biscuits. You can have a biscuit at every meal. But no other state has them as a particular preference. I’m not entirely sure what hashbrown casserole is, and I had no idea that people ate deviled eggs as a side at Thanksgiving. And I see you, Maine, with your demure side salad. Saving room for pumpkin pie?
Are any of you from these states, and does this reflect what you eat on Thanksgiving?