Here’s what your neighbors are eating on Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving is one of the few things that unites us as Americans. But even on this beloved holiday, people in every part of the country find a way to make the classic Thanksgiving dinner their own.

Americans universally love turkey on Thanksgiving, but favorite side dishes vary wildly by region.

In a survey commissioned by FiveThirtyEight, Americans revealed their favorite foods on this day of mass-overeating.

It isn’t a surprise to see that 82 percent of people choose turkey as their main dish. Thanksgiving isn’t nicknamed “Turkey Day” for nothing. Chicken, pork, and roast beef may not be as dry, but they don’t carry the appeal of tradition.

What is shocking is the variation in side dish preferences by region.

Some of these actually make a lot of sense. You would expect liberals in California, Oregon, and Washington to cling to their health-conscious salads even on a night of gorging.

And Southerners’ love of high-carb mac & cheese comes as no surprise. What else would you expect from the region that gave us fried chicken, biscuits & gravy, and country fried steak?

Apparently, New Englanders are huge fans of squash. They’re the ones who came up with Thanksgiving, so perhaps they inherited an affinity for that curious fruit from their pilgrim forefathers.

The picture gets more interesting when you look deeper at the numbers. Residents of the Southeast are 50 percent more likely to choose canned cranberry sauce instead of making it at home.

Americans in the Southeast don’t bother with the toil of making cranberry sauce. It tastes just as good out of the can.

Either they love the look of the can’s grooves on their sauce, or they didn’t plan on eating it anyway and thus see no point in preparing it.

Then there are the Middle Atlantic states, where eaters are six percent more likely to eat cauliflower.

Regions also distinguished themselves by their favorite desserts (after pumpkin pie, which almost everyone likes).

For instance, New England and the Middle Atlantic are crazy about apple pie. In the South, pecan and sweet potato pie reign, while cherry pie dominates the Midwest and West.

Pumpkin pie remains the most popular dessert on Thanksgiving.

We may disagree on the details, but at least Americans can come together on the main issue: when it comes to Thanksgiving, what matters most is stuffing yourself to near gastric explosion.


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