International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Thanksgiving: Recipes and Traditions

Thanksgiving table with a holiday meal

The American celebration of Thanksgiving stretches back almost 400 years to the year 1621, when English settlers at Plymouth Rock gave thanks for their first harvest. The Pilgrims held a feast together with members of the local Wampanoag tribe who had helped them avoid starvation the previous winter.

In the beginning, Americans observed Thanksgiving only on an informal basis. Starting in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln established Thanksgiving as an official national holiday. Since 1939, the official celebration always falls on the fourth Thursday in November.

More than any other American holiday, Thanksgiving centers around food. Turkey is crucial to the meal, but many families served duck or even venison too.

Seasonal produce with New World origins features prominently — corn, squash, beans, yams, pumpkin, cranberries.

In recent years it has become more and more common to accompany the whole meal with a fine American zinfandel or pinot noir wine. But any wine, white or red, will do.

Thanksgiving Recipes

Try these recipes for Thanksgiving.


Two ghapamas ready to serve

(Armenian rice-stuffed and baked whole pumpkin)


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