25 Regional Thanksgiving Specialties

Check out how each region puts its own accent on traditional Thanksgiving fare
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25 Regional Thanksgiving Specialties


Pumpkin pie is a quintessential Thanksgiving dessert served across the country, but not all Thanksgiving dishes are as universal.

Our food choices, even on national holidays like Thanksgiving, are as diverse as our accents. Southerners won’t hold back on their heavy-hand with spices, those on the West Coast will include the fruits of their bountiful and continual harvests, and in New England, home of the original Thanksgiving feast, gentle reminders of that occasion will appear in the mains, sides, and desserts served. 

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While our turkeys remain the most emblematic image of the Thanksgiving table — thank you Norman Rockwell — the rest of the dishes on the table vary from region to region, and in some cases are even city-specific. In Baltimore, for example, sauerkraut is served as a nod to the large number of German descendants living there.

In Utah, Jell-O salad remains a hit, while the rest of the country takes little to no notice, and in the South, especially Texas, crumbled hard-boiled egg is often added to brown gravy for a unique flavor and texture.

While Southerners may be surprised to learn that not everyone eats pecan pie on Thanksgiving and most of us have never even heard of Frog Eye Salad, the collective dishes served on Thanksgiving from each region represent everyone’s unique American experience through food. To celebrate Thanksgiving and our diverse food traditions, we have rounded up 25 regional Thanksgiving specialties you should try this holiday.

Angela Carlos is the Cook Editor. Find her on Twitter and tweet @angelaccarlos.