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LostInParadise's avatar

What do you think of the idea of an all New World food Thanksgiving?

Asked by LostInParadise (23636points) November 19th, 2012

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.

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9 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Doesn’t sound that much different.

zenvelo's avatar

I don’t think a food would qualify just for being New World. It’s not like anyone in New England or the Hudson River Valley knew of quinoa, or chocolate, or even peanuts. And I believe vanilla is from Madagascar.

LostInParadise's avatar

Vanilla is definitely New World My idea was to celebrate the New World’s contribution to the rest of the world and not necessarily to be historically exact regarding the first Thanksgiving.

Seek's avatar

Yeah, if you wanted historically accurate, it’s pretty much boiled venison pies and hard corn. Not particularly appetizing if you ask me.

Kardamom's avatar

I think your idea of eating New World Foods is a good one, a fun concept for a restaurant tasting, but not for Thanksgiving. Like @Seek_Kolinahr said, most of the things on your list were un-known to the folks at the first Thansgiving, and the stuff we eat now for Thanksgiving is all about modern (old fashioned as we would say now) traditions.

I went to a vegetarian Thanksgiving feast at a farm animal sanctuary a few years ago and it was excellent, but your average Joe would shudder at the thought of giving up their hormone injected turkey and gravy.

YARNLADY's avatar

I think that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

SpatzieLover's avatar

At least in the Midwest, this is precisely how we already do Thanksgiving.

zenvelo's avatar

@LostInParadise Thanks for the edification.

zenvelo's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr They did have turkeys they shot, plus lobster! And steamer clams!

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