For the past two years, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in Dijon, France. It was my choice as a temporary expat to adapt some of my childhood holidays to my new home. This meant reimagining menus, exploring what was available at (nearly) every market in town, and coming to terms with the fact that Thanksgiving — in its purest observance — does not always mean cranberries, sweet potatoes, and turkey. It’s the thought that counts, right?
OK, beyond the poetry, I didn’t really have a choice. As I eventually discovered, whole turkeys, cranberries, and sweet potatoes (although not originally) are all very North American ingredients. They’re trendy in France, but by no means readily available in Dijon during the last week of November. But it wasn’t like I was trying to celebrate Thanksgiving in the desert. I was in France, after all…
If you or someone you know is celebrating abroad, consider the following. I made some tough calls, but ultimately settled on a few key substitutions: