Why we eat what we do on Thanksgiving

Why We Eat What We Do on Thanksgiving

Ah, turkey, stuffing and all the fixing.These foods can only mean one holiday. But why is it that these are the dishes we're "supposed" to eat on Thanksgiving?

While the pilgrims in 1621 didn't celebrate with a feast like we do, Alexander Hamilton -- you know the guy on the $10 bill -- once said: "No citizen of the U.S. shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day."

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There weren't any ovens for the pilgrims to use to bake the crust used in pumpkin pie, and wheat flour and sugar were sparse. They likely stewed pumpkins by mixing the flesh, milk, honey and spices together.

Cranberries are native to North America, and it's believed the Pilgrims were introduced to the fruit by native Americans. As for all the other goodies that consume real estate on our plate, Sarah Josepha Hale lead that frontier in the 1800's before getting Abraham Lincoln to sign off on declaring Thanksgiving a national holiday. As the editor of a popular women's magazine, she printed recipes, menus and published about a dozen cookbooks on Thanksgiving. Setting an example for what families should do back then and paving the way to what traditions we do now... full of food.

More Thanksgiving inspiration:
The perfect 'mixed case' of wine for your Thanksgiving table
It's turkey time! 12 fresh turkey recipes to try this fall
20 outfits to wear on Thanksgiving day

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