Traditional Thanksgiving Menu - Foods Which Must Not Be Left Out

What actually constitutes a traditional Thanksgiving menu? As our society moves deeper into the twenty-first century, it is becoming more difficult to determine this.

After all, with so many different cultures converging on the United States, each one is having an influence on the traditional Thanksgiving menu. If you want to have a good old-fashioned Thanksgiving meal the next time your family all comes over to visit for this festive occasion, then it's time that we grounded you on what makes up that traditional Thanksgiving menu.


The first item on any Thanksgiving menu has to be turkey. Yes, there are far too many people who are replacing turkey with ham or other meats, but turkey is the cornerstone, the centerpiece of any traditional fare for the holiday. Of course, it wasn't always this way, but through the years, this has become the staple of any Thanksgiving menu.


When the Indians shared their knowledge of growing and gathering food in the New World with the pilgrims, corn was the staple that they relied most on. Today, corn is an important ingredient in many food items as well as menus, but it has become more traditional for summer meals, rather than for late November. Yet when it comes to a traditional Thanksgiving menu, corn is an absolute must. Indian corn, white corn, or yellow corn are all ideal choices.


Can anyone honestly imagine a turkey dinner at Thanksgiving without stuffing? It's like peas and carrots - just something that naturally goes together. That also means that gravy, wholesome turkey gravy, is necessary to be ladled over the stuffing and the turkey when it is served. There are plenty of different kinds of stuffing, and there is no 'right' kind, as long as it is something that will go well with the main entree.

Yams, or Sweet Potatoes

Potatoes have long been considered a staple of many food dishes in the United States, but it is not often that sweet potatoes, or yams, are actually a part of the delectable dinner menu. Thanksgiving is that special time of the year when we can serve sweet potatoes and remember just how wonderful they can taste. They simply add flavor to the turkey, stuffing, and gravy.

Cranberry sauce

No Thanksgiving menu will ever be complete without cranberry sauce. It is generally a great idea to serve both the whole cranberries as well as the gel-type cranberry sauce, because different people will have different tastes. It is also wise to make sure that the cranberries are chilled to give them the perfect flavor and texture to complement the entire meal.

A traditional Thanksgiving menu certainly is not as important as the reason for the holiday. Too many of us seem to go through our entire lives without truly understanding what the holiday is really all about.

We might give curt thanks for the things that we have, but it should be more about holding onto the traditions that can easily be lost with the progress of time. A traditional Thanksgiving menu can help us to hang on to the things that make us all great.

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