Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving?
Despite hectic schedules and stress-filled days, it’s always important to take time to be thankful for all the good things life has to offer. And there’s no better time to give thanks than the beloved American holiday of Thanksgiving.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, but Americans celebrated the day long before it became official. Of course, Thanksgiving is the perfect day to spend time with your family and give thanks, but it’s also a day meant for enjoying a delicious meal. Mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and pie are all tasty, but Thanksgiving dinner and turkey have become synonymous.
The National Turkey Federation conducted a survey that found 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving, but why has turkey become a staple on the American holiday table?
According to slate.com, early Americans had plenty of ham and pork to eat throughout the year, and beef was extremely expensive, so turkey was an affordable holiday treat. Turkeys were also easy to raise, and turkeys born in spring usually reached a hearty 10 pounds by the time fall rolled around. Chickens, while common, weren’t nearly as large so they fed fewer people. When paired with delicious side dishes, it’s easy to see why turkey was the protein of choice.
Slate.com also claims that pop culture played a roll in the tradition of eating turkey on Thanksgiving. Charles Dicken’s famous novel, A Christmas Carol features a holiday meal built around the turkey given to the Cratchit family by the infamous Mr. Scrooge. The novel was widely read in the United States and may have influenced American holiday appetites.
Of course, turkey is delicious during any time of the year. If you’re craving a small taste of Thanksgiving turkey, Tropical Smoothie Cafe can help whet your appetites any day of the year with one of our delicious sandwiches, like the toasted Turkey Bacon Ranch, that feature America’s favorite holiday staple.
Wishing you a Thanksgiving full of warmth, blessings and happy memories.