Changes To Traditional Thanksgiving Food Have Been The Norm Since At Least The Mid-'90s
November 25, 2014
– When it comes to Thanksgiving, certain food items automatically come to mind: turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberries, mashed potatoes. It’s tradition.
These days, traditional fare isn’t seen on all Thanksgiving tables. Among the reasons: Americans are more health-conscious, read food labels more carefully, and are more informed about dietary restrictions. Others have developed a taste for ethnic cuisine and use Thanksgiving as an excuse to dine on that food. I have two co-workers planning separate Indian feasts on Nov. 27!
What many people may not know, however, is that changes—both bold and subtle--to traditional Thanksgiving food aren’t new. In fact, Food Network recently highlighted food trends seen on Turkey Day over the past 18 years. Among them:
1996: Deep-fried turkey
1999: Truffled mashed potatoes
2002: Turducken, the now famous (or infamous) chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey
2005: Pork, served either separately or as a turkey topping (ever try bacon-topped poultry?)
2006: Dressings used in stuffing
2008: Brussels sprouts
2010: Turkeys featuring special glazes, including molasses, pomegranate, maple, cider, soy sauce and malt beer
2011: Cornbread stuffing
2012: Creamed kale
It remains to be seen what food trend we’ll see this Thanksgiving. But no matter what it is, it won’t be the last.
Nevin Barich is the Food and Beverage Analyst for Industry Intelligence. Email him here or follow him on Twitter here.