Photo: Flickr/ Erin Kohlenberg
The contemporary Thanksgiving menu is a far cry from what the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag tribe feasted on that historic autumn of 1621 to celebrate the colony’s first successful corn harvest. In fact, there is only one written account of the first Thanksgiving, and turkey isn’t mentioned.
And because the Pilgrims didn’t have a large sugar supply, the meal probably did not include pies, cakes, and other sweet treats either.
Nearly four centuries ago, diners likely enjoyed seal, swans, venison, and duck, perhaps prepared using traditional Native American spices and cooking methods.
Eventually, however, the big meaty bird became a staple of the modern Thanksgiving dinner — along with sides dishes like mashed sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and string beans, and desserts like pumpkin and pecan pies. And for that, we are very thankful!
The number of turkeys raised in the United States in 2011. That's up 2 per cent from the number raised in 2010.
Minnesota is the biggest turkey-producing state, at 46.6 million turkeys.
The total weight of sweet potatoes produced by major sweet-potato-producing states in 2010.
North Carolina led the country (972 million pounds), followed by California (639 million pounds), and Louisiana (247 million pounds).
The nation's forecasted tart cherry production for 2011. That's up 40 per cent from the 2010 production.
The largest producing state, Michigan, expects to produce 210 million pounds of cherries this year.
The forecast for U.S. cranberry production in 2011, up 10% from 2010.
Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin produce all of the nation's cranberry supply.
Total pumpkin production in top-six pumpkin-producing states in 2010.
Illinois produced the most pumpkins (425.4 million pounds), followed by California (186 million pounds), New York (146.2 million pounds), Ohio (110.4 million pounds), Pennsylvania (97.2 million pounds), and Michigan (95.2 million pounds).
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