No matter where you go across this nation, Thanksgiving is considered a favorite among holidays.
And why not? Who doesn’t love getting together with friends and family, watching football and, of course, EATING! That is consistent in all 50 states. But, if you are a transplant from up North, you will definitely find some distinct differences at a Southern holiday table.
The real difference between a Northern and Southern Thanksgiving is the food.
Let’s start with the starters. Southerners make it simple. This means pimento cheese, spread or dipped in just about anything you want. Sometimes called “Carolina caviar” or “Southern pate,” pimento cheese combines cheddar cheese, mayonnaise (preferably Dukes) and diced pimentos. Most recipes are mild, so the peppers are not an issue for those who don’t like it spicy. It can be served warm for extra cheesiness.
Onto the sides.
Oh, the sides! Sometimes more relished than the protein are those rich Thanksgiving side dishes. One thing that Yankees may not be aware of is that a Southern Thanksgiving table almost always offers baked macaroni and cheese.
Stuffing is referred to dressing in the South. For the most part, stuffing is what goes inside of the bird; dressing is what’s cooked separately. Cornbread is the standard down here, while up north just regular bread is the base. Northerners are more likely to add sausage to their stuffing.
Another variation is between the sweet potato casserole. Southerners like it really sweet. Molasses, brown sugar and regular sugar are used, making this version almost dessert-like.
Ham or turkey or both?
Up north, Turkey is the guest of honor. No ifs, ands or wish bones about it. But down past the Mason Dixon line, there is a good chance to find ham the head honcho.
Some Southern families make more than one meat at Thanksgiving, such as turkey and ham, whereas Yankees tend to focus solely on a turkey. Also, a Southerner is more likely to fry their bird.
Dessert: the battle of the pies.
In the North standard Thanksgiving pies are pumpkin and apple. In the South, pecan and sweet potato pies are more likely to be served. But, let’s face it. All of them are winners!
Happy Thanksgiving, you guys or y’all!