Why Do We Eat Turkey at Thanksgiving?

November 22, 2016


Have you ever pondered this thought?  I mean really folks, think about it, turkey?  One could have chosen an easier meal to prepare!!!  Personally the thought of a large 8 cut pie from my favorite pizza shop warms my heart the same if not more than our feathered friend!!!  Perhaps it’s due to working in the food service industry for what seems like more than half my life (more actually) that has led me to love that perfectly crafted pie made by someone else’s hands!!  But regardless of my personal opinions, the question still remains:  Why Do We Eat Turkey at Thanksgiving?

The history of this fine tradition is a bit of a mystery but there are a few different theories out there.  The early American settlers sat down to dine with the native Indians and feasted on fowl and beef.  This historical meal would later become known as Thanksgiving.  A second theory points to the Queen of England dining and receiving the news of a fleet of Spanish ships being sunk on their way to attack England.  She was so thrilled by the news that she ordered another goose be served.  Some historians say the early settlers were inspired by the Queens actions and roasted a turkey instead of a goose.  And finally, the wild turkey is a native bird to North America, leading Benjamin Franklin to suggest the turkey made a more suitable national bird than the bald eagle.

So ladies and gentlemen, perhaps these theories help shed some light as to why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving. Whether you are eating some bird or enjoying your favorite pie- sit back, unbutton your pants after eating too much, turn on some football or perhaps a recording of Snoopy and the gang feasting on popcorn and toast and make your own tradition this Thanksgiving. – br

Contributor: Buddy Roth is the Food Service Director at Arbutus