Thanksgiving food checklist:
Green bean casserole?
Grandma’s sweet potato pie? (Yum.)
And turkey! What would a Thanksgiving be without a big, juicy, golden brown, oven cooked bird sitting in the middle of the table?
But wait – Why in the world do we eat turkey every Thanksgiving anyway? How did this big unattractive bird earn its illustrious place of honor at the center of every Thanksgiving meal? Why is this “Thanksgiving food”?? The weird truth is that no one really knows for sure. Historians have a few different theories.
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Thanks to early American settler’s impeccable record keeping, we know that when the colonists and the Wampanoag Indians sat down together for dinner, fowl and beef were documented as being on the menu. (This historical meal, of course, would later become known as the first Thanksgiving.) But the fowl family encompasses all kinds of birds hunted as game. We’re talking duck, geese, and even pigeons.
The reason why historians went with turkey is because of a letter written by pilgrim Edward Winslow. In it, he mentions having gone on a turkey hunting trip prior to getting his grub on with the Indians. Put two and two together, and I think you can reasonably state that there was a good possibility that turkey was on the menu on that first Thanksgiving day… That is, if Mr. Winslow’s turkey hunting trip was actually a success. But I guess we’ll never know.
Like that story? Well check out 20 more amazing Thanksgiving turkey facts below.