No matter where you go in this great big U. S. of A., Thanksgiving is a favorite among holidays.
And why not? Who doesn’t love that once a year, one can eat copious amount of delicious, decadent food guilt free! That is most certainly a commonality in all 50 states. But, if you are a transplant from up North, you will definitely find some differences at a Southern holiday table. Don’t worry, though, everything is just as scrumptious!
The basic differences between a Northern and Southern Thanksgiving are in the menus.
First off, the appetizers. Southerners like to make it easy. That means a bowl of pimento cheese, served with crackers, chips veggies or bread. Sometimes called “Carolina caviar” or “Southern pate,” pimento cheese combines cheddar cheese, mayonnaise (preferably Dukes) and diced pimentos. Many families have their own special recipe, which has been passed down over the years. Don’t be fooled by the pimentos. Most recipes are mild. It can be served warm, also. This heightens the cheesiness to a new level and it is heaven in your mouth.
Next comes the side dishes.
Oh, the sides! Sometimes more relished than the protein are those rich Thanksgiving side dishes. One thing that Yankees may not be aware of is that a Southern Thanksgiving table almost always offers baked macaroni and cheese.
Stuffing is referred to dressing in the South. For the most part, stuffing is what goes inside of the bird; dressing is what’s cooked separately. Cornbread is the standard down here, while up north just regular bread is the base. Northerners are more likely to add sausage to their stuffing.
Another variation is between the sweet potato casserole. Southerners like it really sweet. Molasses, brown sugar and regular sugar are used, making this version almost dessert-like.
Ham or turkey or both?
Up north, Turkey is the guest of honor. No ifs, ands or wish bones about it. But down past the Mason Dixon line, there is a good chance to find ham the head honcho.
Some Southern families make more than one meat at Thanksgiving, such as turkey and ham, whereas Yankees tend to focus solely on a turkey. Also, a Southerner is more likely to fry their bird.
And then or dessert.
In the North standard Thanksgiving pies are pumpkin and apple. In the South, pecan and sweet potato pies are more likely to be served. But, let’s face it. There are no right or wrongs with pie!
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!