"There is no joy in eating alone." —The Buddha, 543 B.C.The history of Thanksgiving is about different cultures coming together. Our national holiday commemorates the First Thanksgiving held by the Pilgrim colonists and members of the Wampanoag people in Plymouth in 1621.
On Thanksgiving Day this week, in neighborhood kitchens around the country, people will come together to prepare traditional foods of the season: roasted turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and of course pumpkin pie. But according to a published letter of Plymouth Colony leader Edward Winslow, that first meal bears little resemblance to our modern day feast. For example,food historians have shown that potatoes, a staple of today’s Thanksgiving meal, originated in South America and had not made their way into the Wampanoag or colonist diet at the time of the 1621 harvest celebration.
If you think of America as a big salad bowl, filled with many types of colorful foods, then you can see how our cultures can come together on the plate. In millions of US kitchens, the Thanksgiving menu this year will reflect a multicultural touch, such as warm arepas, fried plantains, tamales, sticky rice or pasta with freshly made tomato sauce.
If your want to add something different to your traditional Thankgiving meal, consider one of the following recipes, shared with us from some of the chefs in New England who never cook without adding flavors from around the world:
Oleana’s Chef de Cuisine Cassie Piuma’s cacik, a delicious Turkish dish served family style.
Simply Khmer’s Sam Neang and Denise Ban’s Cambodian fried rolls…perfect to assemble and cook with the family.
Chef José Duarte of Taranta gives a New England spin to the traditional potato dish from Peru, with his Maine lobster causa.
Muqueca Chef Fatima “Fafa” Langa’s Brazilian tapioca cuscuz…an ideal ending for a fabulous meal.
Our menus may evolve, but the Thanksgiving spirit remains the same…coming together, sharing a meal, and giving thanks.
MORE NEIGHBORHOOD KITCHENS RECIPES