Today, most Americans celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November with family and friends. This long standing tradition of giving thanks has actually been celebrated by many Europeans and Native Americans for centuries before the pilgrims arrived in America. However, the feast on our tables today varies greatly from the feast that was shared more than 350 years ago.
Rather than the now traditional meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and sweet potatoes, the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians more than likely ate a wide variety of seafood, fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Cod, eel, clams, and lobster were amongst the meats of choice along with venison, wild goose, eagles, and other wild fowl.
Though the colonists had brought many pigs with them from England, there’s no evidence to suggest they had butchered them and ate ham at this time.
Pumpkins and cranberries were plentiful, but they did not eat pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce. Sugar was scarce, if there was any at all. In fact, the pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce recipes had yet to be invented!
Cow milk was not a staple either as cows had not been brought over on the Mayflower, but it’s possible that they drank goat’s milk instead.