What do you think of the idea of an all New World food Thanksgiving?
Conceptually, the idea might be more appropriate to Columbus day, as a way of turning around the controversial emphasis on impact of Old World on New World. I thought of Thanksgiving because, although the traditional food may not exactly match the original Thanksgiving, most of it originates in the New World. It might be an interesting gimmick for a restaurant to offer. I learned most of what I know about which foods are native from this book.
We are not talking deprivation. You would still be able stuff yourself silly. Turkey, corn, pumpkin, squash, potato, sweet potato, Lima beans and cranberry sauce could all be used. Sorry, no apple sauce, cider or pie (try blueberry instead). The idea is to make the experience pretty much the same as usual, with enough variation to make people think.
Preparation might require some ingenuity. Wheat flour would be out, but corn, amarinth and quinoa could be used as grains. No olive oil, but peanut oil and canola are okay. I believe that onion and garlic varieties are pretty much universal, so they could be used, as well as tomatoes. Spices would be a challenge, since the only New World spice is allspice, which would be forced to live up to its name. Thanksgiving food is typically not hot, but peppers in all varieties would be permissible. Chocolate and vanilla would be perfectly okay, but no coffee or tea.
In terms of vegetables, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are out, but green beans are okay. Peanuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pecans and Brazil nuts are usable. I don’t know about milk and milk products. My inclination would be to exclude them. I don’t know if bison and other native herbivores are good sources.