Surveys can reveal a lot, but nothing can quite compare to a person's Google search history. That's because people tend to fib on questionnaires (at least I know I do, especially when it's about exercise), whereas your browsing history presents the cold hard facts in black and white. So my interest definitely piqued Monday when a map revealing the most-googled Thanksgiving recipes by state was released, outlining the arguably surprising dishes families across the United States plan to serve their holiday guests this year.
David Cusick, a senior researcher and editor at House Method, went on a research mission with the help of Google Trends to compile the most popular Thanksgiving recipes by state. Cusick looked at both dinner dishes (think roasted turkey and yams) and desserts (like brownies and pies) to develop two different maps.
So what dinner recipe came out on top? It appears roasted turkey reigns king, clocking in at nine states (Pennsylvania, Florida, Delaware, Ohio, Virginia, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island). And although people eating turkey on Thanksgiving is the least surprising thing ever, I am a bit taken back to see salad dominating six states (Arizona, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Illinois, and Vermont). Not to mention, I'm shocked salad didn't emerge victorious for health conscious Californians. Speaking of California, yams is the most popular dish, a sentiment also seen in Nevada, Hawaii, and Utah.
I also find it interesting how deviled eggs won in Oklahoma, Wyoming, West Virginia, and South Dakota Hmm.
In the category of desserts, "both brownies and pumpkin pie lead the way in most states, both tied for 15 in all," Cusick writes. This is surprising for me because I wasn't aware know brownies are a go-to Thanksgiving treat — it's all about the pies, in my book.
This all being said, it seems each year there are different statistics, considering the favorite recipes map in November 2018 shows different results. Still, casseroles dominated the Midwest in both 2018 and 2019.
Of course, it's fun to think about all the different goodies there are to eat on Thanksgiving, which is just a few short weeks away. But it's worth mentioning how stressful this time can also be, especially if you're preparing dinner solo or are working with a tight budget.
One option for those wanting to keep things simple is to make dishes ahead of time. I had no idea you can store freezer bags of cranberry sauce for up to one month, for instance, or that green been casserole (if "tightly covered in heavy duty foil, or in Ziploc bags with the air pressed out," according to Chowhound) can last up two weeks in the refrigerator. You can't go wrong if you're ahead of the game, folks.
Another idea is to copy someone else's recipes. Trying to reinvent the wheel when you're on a time crunch is not ideal (believe me, I've tried), so do yourself a favor and enlist the help of Google for your meal planning.
But most of all, don't forgot to enjoy this holiday that's often overlooked in between the mayhem of Halloween and Christmas. Whether you're digging into turkey or living it up with some deviled eggs, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.