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Who put turkey on the menu?

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Happy Thanksgiving, Everybody!
How did it come to be that we dine on these funny birds for Thanksgiving
You know, our traditional Thanksgiving Day customs and celebrations have really come a long way! After all, there was no Macy’s Parade in 1621, there was no Detroit Lions match-up, and turkey was not on the menu! Okay, so the parade and football kind of make sense, but NO TURKEY?!!! For a day that’s sometimes referred to as ‘Turkey Day’, it can come as a surprise to discover that the Pilgrims did not dine on this bird during the original feast.

So if this bird wasn’t there for the first Thanksgiving, why is it considered such a solid tradition nowadays to have a turkey at Thanksgiving dinner? Well, I did my homework on the subject and it turns out that there are three chief reasons as to why we really like to eat turkey on Thanksgiving (and Christmas too!).

1.) The first reason we eat turkey is becaOne reason turkey is so popular for Thanksgiving is because of its sizeuse it fits the occasion so well. Other meats were considered for the dinner too, but didn’t make the cut for one reason or another. Unlike cows or chickens, turkeys don’t provide milk or lay eggs. Also, turkey wasn’t so common a meat as say pork or other fowl and, thus, it seemed like the right choice to celebrate a special occasion.

2.) Another reason that turkeys became the choice bird for these holiday dinners is because of its position in the Goldilock’s Zone. It’s the perfect plumpness! It’s not too small, like chicken or most water fowl. It’s not too big as, say, a cow or a deer. It’s just the right size to feed a large, hungry family.
Another big reason turkey's become such solid tradition is thanks to Mr. Charles Dickens
3.) Lastly, and probably most interestingly, the third reason is thanks to Mr. Charles Dickens. What did he have to do with it? Well, his extremely popular novel ‘A Christmas Carol’ did make specific note of the turkey as Scrooge’s gift to the Cratchit family. Despite it being a Christmas gift, this is thought to have the biggest impact on what made turkey, Thanksgiving’s (and Christmas’) prize bird.

From all of us at Everything Summer Camp, have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy your turkey, Everyone! Thanks for reading.


- John

Posted in History Lessons


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