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Popular Thanksgiving Items


What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? Over the years, popular dishes, such as mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, always seem to have their place at the dinner table, but what dish is most loved by those that celebrate? Figuring out which dishes are most popular across the country is more complicated than you might think: throughout the United States, different regions prefer vastly different dishes than their counterparts. In a 2020 poll, 1,300 participants across the country were asked to choose their favorite Thanksgiving dish: 83% of people agreed that the classic turkey was the best dish, not surprisingly. Another popular Thanksgiving dish unsurprising to many was mashed potatoes coming at a whopping 78% of people. Along with these popular dishes, stuffing (also known as dressing) was believed to be the best dish by 77% of people and bread / rolls came in fourth with 74%. In a more recent 2023 study, stuffing has shockingly taken second place, behind turkey, with mashed potatoes and ham trailing behind in third and fourth place, respectively. Although this difference might be surprising to some people, an AP-NORC poll can confirm that stuffing is definitely a favorite to many: for example, it was found that about 2 in 10 American adults say stuffing is the best Thanksgiving dish.

However, as we dive into specific regions such as the Midwest and Northeast, we can see contrasting results. For example, popular items during Thanksgiving in the Midwest include deviled eggs, chicken, and Jell-O. In comparison, popular items in the South include turnips, collard greens, and broccoli casserole. Popular items specific to the Northeast include fruit salad, beans, and rice, due to the fact Northeasterners were more likely to select these items compared to Americans in other regions. Unlike any other region listed, the most popular Thanksgiving dish in the West was tamales, providing a contrast to turkey in all of the other regions. Despite these differences, according to the 2020 poll, some unpopular items included duck, lamb, black-eyed peas, plantains, and tofu, with each item receiving less than 40% of the popular vote. Furthermore, these regions can have similarities between their most popular dish: for example, people living in the Midwest and West both tied mashed potatoes for their most popular dish after turkey.

Across the board, turkey was found to be the most popular item among Americans; according to 2023 polls from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, about 3 in 10 American adults agree that turkey is their favorite Thanksgiving dish. Similarly, pie is the most popular dessert during the holiday season: according to the same poll, pie was found to be the preferred dessert of about one-third of American adults. Although it was reported that about 80 million pounds of cranberries were eaten during the holidays, it was found that cranberries or cranberry sauce was one of the least popular items at the dinner table with 2 in 10 American adults stating their dislike for this dish. Without a doubt, popular dishes such as stuffing and turkey are here to stay during Thanksgiving. Although there have been some small changes in the ranking of dishes, our classic favorites have remained the same. Along with family and friends, Thanksgiving dishes are something we can look forward to every year during the holidays!

SOURCES: nksgiving-classics/45921447 _from=%2Ftopics%2Ffood%2Farticles-reports%2F2020%2F11%2F24%2Fmost-popular-thanks giving-dish-poll

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Fiona McCally
Fiona McCally, Staff Writer

Fiona McCally is a junior at Bishop Feehan and in her second year of writing for ‘Rock Report. She is involved in many other clubs such as psychology club, St. Vincent de Paul Club, and more. Fiona likes hanging out with friends, dancing, and listening to music.

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