We’re comparing the first Thanksgiving in 1621 to a modern Thanksgiving. What did the colonists and the Wampanoag eat at the first Thanksgiving?
It’s no surprise that the dinner table at the First Thanksgiving in 1621 was filled with wild game. The pilgrims contributed birds like geese, ducks, and swans. The Wampanoag tribe brought 5 deer to the big feast. The first thanksgiving was attended by just under 100 people.
Here is a full list of items on the dinner table at the First Thanksgiving in 1621 at the Plymouth Colony:
While it is still debated whether or not turkey was enjoyed at the first Thanksgiving, there is no debate that the dinner table was filled with wild game meats. Turkey very well may have been included but it is hard to confirm this for sure.
The Governor of the colony at Plymouth mentions harvesting Turkeys that year, but does not mention them directly in relation to the Thanksgiving feast.
A modern Thanksgiving celebration in America is mostly known for Turkey, pumpkin pie, and notable site dishes like sweet potatoes, stuffing and cranberry sauce. While people often try out new Thanksgiving recipes, it is often the traditional recipes that are made year after year that are everyone’s favorites.
46 million turkeys are eaten each year at Thanksgiving.
A typical Thanksgiving celebration involves a family gathering where everyone eats together and catches up with one another. The National Football League will usually be on in the background, as they specifically schedule 3 games on Thanksgiving Day every year. This is often followed by the famous after dinner nap which has been attributed to the Tryptophan, an amino acid found in turkey that can make you sleepy.
Some people spend the evening hours looking through upcoming sales in order to get a head start on their Christmas shopping. The day after Thanksgiving is known as “Black Friday” and is when all of the retail stores have their biggest sales of the year. Some people get up early on Black Friday and wait in line for the stores to open so they can be sure to get the deal they are after.
While the Thanksgiving tradition has changed over the last 400 years, it still resembles the tradition started back in 1621!