The Culinary Diversity Of Thanksgiving

For Thanksgiving, turkey plus or minus all kinds of things. Multicultural America giving Thanksgiving menus a multicultural kick.

Multicultural Thanksgiving

Chef James Tahhan's Thanksgiving Pavochon. (Courtesy James Tahhan)

For holiday purists, traditionalists, part of the joy of Thanksgiving is that once a year menu that never changes.  The turkey, the stuffing, the gravy, the cranberry sauce.  But there are so many traditions that merge in America today, and on America’s Thanksgiving Day tables.  In Chinese-American homes, that turkey may be a duck.  Or a Persian-American turkey with saffron and lime and eggplant on the side.  Or at a Latin American spread with chipotle and chili and leftover turkey in empanadas.  This hour On Point:  the global feast that is American Thanksgiving now.

– Tom Ashbrook


Reyna Simnegar, author of “Persian Food From The Non-Persian Bride: And Other Sephardic Kosher Recipes You Will Love.” (@KosherPersian)

Joanne Chang, pastry chef and owner of Flour, a Boston bakery and cafe. Chef and owner of the Asian restaurant Myers+Chang. Author of “Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery+Café” and “Flour Too: Indispensible Recipes for the Café’s Most Loved Sweets and Savories.” (@JBChang)

James Tahhan, chef and co-host of Telemundo’s morning show, “Un Nuevo Dia.” (@ChefJames)

From Tom’s Reading List

Food & Wine: Asian-American Thanksgiving — “As Taiwanese immigrants, my parents did their best to habituate me and my brother to American customs—we were ghoulish on Halloween, prematurely romantic on Valentine’s Day and, hopefully, suitably festive at Christmas, bringing sugar cookies to neighborhood potlucks and such. But for Thanksgiving, the closest we got to roasting “a nice big turkey” was making Peking duck, lacquered with honey and soy and stuffed with baby bok choy and slivered green onions.”

Latin Times: Chef James Tahhan Shares How To Prepare Holiday Meal With A Latin Twist — “One of my favorite recipes is a Mexican recipe from the Jalisco region, it’s called Birria. It’s one of my favorite recipes because it shows love. It is cooked for four hours and has big chunks of meat, or lamb, cooked in a very aromatic broth made with chiles and spices. It’s unbelievable. Especially, if you serve it in a tortilla. It’s one of the most amazing things you can eat to celebrate the holidays.”

Bon Appetit: 8 Weird Twists on Classic Thanksgiving Dishes — “Thanksgiving is America’s most traditional holiday meal, one with a national menu that every family follows in their own way year after year. For many of us, ‘traditional’ means those tried-and-true recipes from Grandma’s house (possibly ‘inspired’ by a supermarket supplement or ladies’ auxiliary cookbook from the ‘60s) that we look forward to on Thanksgiving. You may eat the same dishes every year—be they marshmallow-topped yams, straight-from-the-can cranberry sauce, or gummy white bread stuffing—but mess with the classics at your peril. Even the most experimental restaurant chefs throw in the towel at Thanksgiving and go for the crowd pleasers.”

See Our Blog For Thanksgiving Recipes From Our Guests

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