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Just How Traditional is Thanksgiving?
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This Thursday, many will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, candied yams, and pumpkin pie. But how much of that food would have been at the table on the first Thanksgiving?

There's not a lot of written documentation of the meal that was served back in 1621. Records indicate fowl was included, but ducks and geese and even swans were as likely as turkeys to be on the menu. If they were stuffed, it would have been with onions, nuts, and/or herbs. Deer, brought by the Wampanoag guests, was also served.

Seafood, including clams, oysters, mussels, and bass, which was plentiful and known to have been consumed by the Pilgrims, was likely on the table as well.

The meal was a celebration of the first harvest, so it's likely that cabbage, carrots, spinach, lettuce, bean, onions, and maybe even peas would have been on the menu. Fruits, including grapes, plums, and several types of berries: raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, and even cranberries, also graced the table. No cranberry sauce, though: the practice of boiling cranberries with sugar to make a sauce for meats wouldn't be around for another 50 years or so.

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