Why Do People Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving


  • The history of the Thanksgiving Turkey is a bit of an enigma in itself. For sure no one quite knows precisely as to how this specific bird attained such a stature of prestige at the Thanksgiving Dinner come November, but historians have put forth a couple of supporting theories.
  • Thanks to documents and historical records carefully preserved by the early American settlers, we today are aware of the fact that it was when the Colonists sat to dine with the Wampaonag Indians, fowl and beef made an appearance on the table.
  • It was this very historical meal that became famous as the very first Thanksgiving.
  • It was during the Spring of 1621 that Winslow and others attended what would go down in history as the very first Thanksgiving.
  • Turkey happens to be the most popular dish of any Thanksgiving dinner so much so that the occasion is at times colloquially referred to as ‘Turkey Day’.
  • Another explanation attributes the presence of the Thanksgiving turkey to the Queen of England. According to this theory, in the 16th Century, an Armada of Spanish ships met with catastrophe and sank on their way to England.
  • The then Queen Elizabeth got to learn of this incident whilst she was dining and was supposedly so delighted that she ordered another goose.
  • Some historians do believe that the early settlers were motivated by the Queen’s actions and went ahead with roasting a turkey instead of a goose.
  • The turkey is the star attraction of any Thanksgiving dinner and also makes an appearance on the Yuletide menu.
  • This is probably owing to a number of reasons. Turkeys were affordable, fresh and voluminous often being large enough to feed a sizeable gathering.
  • Americans have always demonstrated a preference for large poultry when it comes to celebrations and grand feasts, as the birds could be easily slaughtered and managed without incurring a major economic burden.
  • Cows and other livestock had more utility being alive than dead and commercial beef was unavailable till the latter part of the 19th century.
  • Chicken happened to be more prized back then compared to now and rooster meat was thought of as course. Similarly, hens were regarded more valuable alive as they gave eggs.
  • Consuming turkey was also in tune with the English holiday conventions and customs which had been ushered into the New World.
  • Most Thanksgiving turkeys are today stuffed with succulently prepared bread based mixture lined with the herb sage and then roasted to perfection.
  • Interestingly, deep fried turkey is also rising in popularity thus demonstrating the innovative trend.
  • One can confidently assert that no matter what the time and age, this bird is definitely here to stay and rule the roost when it comes to Thanksgiving feasting.
  • Happy thanksgiving and turkey carving!


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