Top 5 Food Items Served At The First Thanksgiving
The end of November usually means the tradition of Thanksgiving for those of us in the United States. But for every tradition, there has to be a first to get things rolling and Thanksgiving is no different. It is said the first Thanksgiving was a 3-day celebration of the autumn Harvest in Plymouth Massachusetts in 1621. It was with the newly settled Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans sitting down and enjoying the food of the time. We take a look at what was at the table with the 5 top food items served at the First Thanksgiving.
Food at First Thanksgiving – Deer
Not a tradition on Thanksgiving tables nowadays but on the very first Thanksgiving, it was reported that some settlers came to the big feast with the meat of deer. It was probably roasted over open fires with some kind of vegetables and seasonings by both the Pilgrims and Native Americans. So if you needed a new image to warp your mind with when thinking of the First Thanksgiving, think of deer, just not Bambi.
Food at First Thanksgiving – Fowl
Normally Thanksgiving has images of fat Turkeys filled with stuffing. They did have wild turkeys at the first Thanksgiving feast, but that wasn’t the only bird being served. It is reported that 4 men were sent out for a “fowling” expedition in preparation for the event and they came back with all kinds of birds that they hunted. Besides wild turkey, ducks, geese, and swans were also normal eatings for the area and things like nuts and onions were added when cooking the birds to give it some extra flavor.
Food at First Thanksgiving – Cranberries
Cranberries were native to the area of New England where the festival took place and the Native Americans tribes of the area used cranberries as a dye for their clothes so cranberries were known by those of the area. However sugar that came over on the Mayflower was nearly depleted by the time of the first Thanksgiving and having cooks boil cranberries with sugar didn’t start happening until 50 years later. Cranberries along with other fruits of the area like blueberries, plums, grapes, gooseberries, and raspberries were available. So while they may not have made the fruit pastries or pies we people of modern times would recognize, they were able to make something sweet to enjoy their meals with.
Another food that never really caught on with tradition but was around for the first Thanksgiving was mussels. They were abundant in the New England shoreline and eaten quite often served with curds. Milk solids and mussels sound like a popular Thanksgiving dish doesn’t it? Lobsters have also been reported as abundant in the area as well as Eels. While oysters were not as plentiful in the area.
Pumpkins were native to the area, but not as pies or other baked goods we know to enjoy during Thanksgiving. As the style of the day had it, pumpkins were often hallowed out and filled with a mix of the leftover pumpkin, some milk, and some spice with a custard that was then roasted. That is an image you should have in your mind if you want to complain about Pumpkin Spice flavored things this time of year.