Compiled by: Anugraha Babuji

Thanksgiving was first celebrated by the Plymouth Colony in 1621 as a feast for harvests. In 1863, Thanksgiving was declared a national holiday by Abraham Lincoln, and the celebration has persisted to this day. While this holiday brings many joys such as sleeping in or having a day out with the family, the best part of this cultural celebration is the array of traditional and scrumptious food consumed for a dinner feast. Cranberry jelly, turkey, and mashed yams with marshmallows—Americans have never failed to present these iconic dishes at the dinner table on Thanksgiving. While these foods and traditions may seem commonplace to an American, are all other nationalities really aware of the essence of Thanksgiving? Are they aware of the significance of each dish on Thanksgiving? The answer, more often than not, is no. However, Bamboo Telegraph has a quick solution to this FOMO, as we present the definitive ranking of the eight most traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

8. Green Bean Casserole

This simple but delectable dish that uses just six ingredients (condensed cream of mushroom, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, green beans, and fried onions), is one of the main “greens” that is usually present during a Thanksgiving dinner. Even children who usually refuse to eat beans can’t resist the creamy goodness of this dish.

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7. Corn Bread

Corn bread is what many look forward to during Thanksgiving and it is a MUST at most dinners. It only requires nine simple ingredients: unsalted butter, cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, and buttermilk.

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6. Yam and Marshmallows

While most dishes presented during Thanksgiving are savory dishes, there are also multiple sweet dishes, such as yam and marshmallows. This recipe calls for the use of yams, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, eggs, butter, and marshmallows to create a mouthful of sweet goodness in between all the savory.  

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5. Mac and Cheese

This classic dish is not only present at the dinner table on Thanksgiving, but is a prevalent dish in many of our lives year-round. When there are no leftovers or no newly cooked food at home, one’s go to dish is mac and cheese. However, the orange Kraft packages are usually passed over for Thanksgiving, when mac and cheese is generally made fresh with elbow macaroni, cheddar and parmesan cheese, milk, butter, flour, bread crumbs, and paprika.

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4. Mashed Potatoes

Similar to mac and cheese, this everyday classic is also an important and iconic dish that is presented at Thanksgiving dinner each year. With a simple recipe which calls for the use of potatoes, salt, milk, heavy cream, butter, and pepper, this dish is a universal favorite for individuals of all ages.

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3. Ham

Like a partner in crime with turkey, ham is another favorite on the table. This ham, however, is not like most savory hams. It is glazed with a layer of either honey or brown sugar on the outside, giving the ham both a savory and sweet taste. This type of ham, also known as Honey Bourbon Glazed Ham or Holiday Glazed Ham, calls for the use of the following ingredients: fully cooked bone-ham, 40 whole cloves, brown sugar, honey, bourbon, creole mustard, and molasses.

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2. Pie

Another sweet favorite, usually served as dessert, is pie. Pie can come in many different flavors with many delectable fillings. However, the most common pies that are present during Thanksgiving dinner are pumpkin, apple, pecan, and sweet potato. The perfect way to end the once-a-year-meal, pies finish the meal with heartwarming gooeyness.

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1. Turkey

The peanut butter to its jelly, the patty to its bun, the turkey to its Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is most famously known for one dish and one dish alone: the glorious, scrumptious turkey. From the stuffing to the cranberry jelly, turkey is an absolute must at Thanksgiving. This very important dish that arguably defines Thanksgiving consists of turkey, salt, brown sugar, vegetable stock, black peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger.  

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