If the pilgrims and Indians saw our Thanksgiving dinner today, they would be so surprised. That's because most of what Americans eat on the second most popular holiday is nothing like the feast that was prepared on the first celebration in 1621. It might also surprise you that none of what we eat today was eaten on that first Thanksgiving. Let's compare and set the record straight about the meal then and now.

Thanksgiving in 1621

The first Thanksgiving in 1621 lasted three days. Therefore, there had to be enough food for 53 pilgrims and 90 Indians to last that long.

There was no turkey eaten at that time. So, what meat did they eat? They ate roast duck, goose, swan, or venison. Seafood was also part of the feast, including lobsters, clams and mussels because they were plentiful for the settlers.

There was no mashed potatoes or potato salad, corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, rolls or pumpkin pie. From the gardens and crops, they ate squash, carrots, and peas as side dishes. Corn on the cob was not eaten because it was not the time of the year for corn to be ready.

Because the forest provided walnuts and chestnuts, they were definitely part of the feast as well as plenty of berries, dried fruit and nuts.

Whoever thought of having pumpkin pie surely didn't get the idea from the the first Thanksgiving. Neither pumpkin pie nor any other pie was served because there were no ovens for baking. However, they did eat boiled pumpkin. Cranberries were not available at that time, so there was no cranberry sauce.

Because there was a shortage of flour, the first Thanksgiving included no bread of any kind.

Thanksgiving today

People celebrate Thanksgiving today with a big dinner. Today's traditional dinner has been developed over the years and is nothing like the first one. The main meat is Turkey that can be roasted or fried. That's because people have appliances to prepare a turkey in various ways. Along with the turkey, other dishes include stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, breads, and so much more.

Even though the meals were different, people gave thanks then, and they still give thanks today.

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