Sitting down to the Thanksgiving table, you may have to shimmy your dinner plate in between a massive bowl of mashed potatoes and a casserole dish full of steaming green bean casserole. Mouthwatering sides take up the majority of table real estate, but there is only one shining star that always has a VIP spot at the table's center: the turkey. With so many delicious foods at one meal, how did the turkey grab the spotlight? Furthermore, why do we eat turkey at Thanksgiving in the first place?
Eating turkey on Thanksgiving has become a tradition that was long believed to be started by the Pilgrims and Native Americans on what was considered the first Thanksgiving dinner. But after years of study, historians believe this may be one of many myths that surround the original Thanksgiving as well as the traditions that surround the holiday. Whether fact or fiction, that beloved bird is here to stay — and that is definitely something to be thankful for.
Over the years, the Thanksgiving meals have evolved from those our foremothers prepared. Turkeys can be fried, stuffed, roasted, or smoked — and even delivered warm, right to your door. With all the hours of effort invested in creating a show-stopping main dish, it's nice to know there are some practical reasons we still honor this custom.