AUSTIN (KXAN) — Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and millions of Texans will gather with family, friends and loved ones next Thursday to break bread and celebrate the blessings in their lives. But how does that dinner table spread compare to other parts of the country?
While turkey is the centerpiece to many Americans’ Thanksgiving meal, fried or smoked turkey are particularly popular in the Lone Star State, as documented by media platform Wide Open Country. Honey baked ham is also a common alternative for those who aren’t much of a turkey eater.
There are also Mexican dishes that have become cornerstones of the Texas Thanksgiving celebration, such as tamales or charro beans. Casseroles like sweet potato or green bean varieties are also particularly prevalent in Texas cooking, and pair well with biscuits and cornbread dressing.
But no meal is complete without dessert, and pecan pie is a Texas staple that tends to make its way onto the menu alongside pumpkin and apple pies. Sweet tea might not classify as a dessert, but it’ll satisfy your sweet tooth throughout the meal.
What are some regional Thanksgiving favorites?
How does that compare to other parts of the country? The Food Network’s Thanksgiving Recipe Road Map explores the regionality popularity of some dishes throughout the U.S.
Those include red velvet cakes in Alabama; Shepherd’s pie in Connecticut; oyster stuffing in Washington, D.C.; corn pudding in Indiana; sweet potato pie in Maryland; scalloped corn in Nebraska; butternut squash soup in New York; collard greens in North Carolina; pineapple casserole in South Carolina; and baked acorn squash in Wisconsin.
What are some unique Thanksgiving spreads in different states?
A November 2021 deep dive by Business Insider gave regional scope to some of the more unique traditions behind Thanksgiving.
In Maryland, sauerkraut is a popular dish, inspired by the state’s large German-American population. Crab cakes tend to also be a standard staple there, given its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay.
Up in New England, hasty pudding is a dessert comprising cornmeal, molasses, brown sugar and spices that’s then topped with either whipped cream or ice cream. In New York and New Jersey, many Italian families factor traditional dishes into their meal, such as manicotti, lasagna and baked ziti.
Within the northeast, cranberry relish is a common sight on the dinner table. Down in the southwest and west, frog-eye salad — or a fruity pasta made with acini di pepe pasta, pineapples, mandarin oranges, whipped cream and marshmallow topping — is a popular dish.
In the southwestern states of New Mexico and Arizona, empanadas bring Mexican roots to the Thanksgiving dinner table. Up in the Midwest, green bean casserole and corn pudding are commonplace, while Wisconsin embraces its dairy industry roots with cheesy mashed potatoes.
Here in the south, macaroni and cheese is a staple, as can be collard greens. In Kentucky, derby pie — or chocolate pie with walnuts — is a famous, tried and true dessert.
Down in the southeast such as Florida, key lime pie tends to be a Thanksgiving staple. Out west in Hawaii, Okinawan purple sweet potatoes tend to be selected or russet or yellow gold varieties for dishes.