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Why Turkey is the Star of a Thanksgiving Feast?

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Spending time with our loved ones is one thing, but Thanksgiving is certainly not complete without the feast. And amongst many dishes on the table, turkey seems to be the star of the show.

According to The Harris Poll, turkey is one of the most disliked Thanksgiving dishes (28% disliked). Funny enough, 70% of adults agree that it’s not a proper Thanksgiving meal if there’s no turkey.

So what makes turkey the star of a Thanksgiving feast?

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How Turkey Became The Star of Thanksgiving

Let’s talk about history now. If you are not familiar with the history of Thanksgiving, the first celebration took place in 1621.

In 1621, the pilgrims celebrated the harvest by throwing a feast. Their menu would include venison, corn, shellfish, cornmeal, beans, nuts, dried berries, pumpkin, and of course, turkey.

According to the fifth edition of Holiday Symbols and Customs, the pilgrims and Native Americans likely hunted and served wildfowl, like geese, duck, or turkey. Turkey was relatively easy to capture, so it quickly became popular among American settlers.

The methods for cooking the turkey back in the day remain unclear. However, the remains of the turkey were likely thrown in a pot and boiled to make a broth for the next day, similar to gravy that we know today.

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We know that there is a custom of snapping the turkey’s wishbone that is said to bring luck to the person who gets the larger half. This tradition can be traced back to the Romans and the Pilgrims brought it to America.

Even though the presence of different kinds of meat can be seen from the 17th-century to the 19th-century, turkey managed to be the most popular one, especially after World War II. Nowadays, Americans eat more than 690 million pounds of turkey every Thanksgiving.

So, do you cook turkey on Thanksgiving? Or do you prefer to cook something else for your Thanksgiving dinner? Share with us in the comments down below!

Source: National Geographic