Thanksgiving has always been synonymous with roasted turkey. However, the first thanksgiving feast in 1621, turkey (cooked in any way) was not in the menu. Edward Winslow’s account mentioned venison, fish and shellfish but not turkey. So where did this obsession with roasted turkey come from? Why do we always serve turkey during thanksgiving parties?
An article in Week states that Governor William Bradford talked about colonists engaged in wild turkey hunts in his journals which were rediscovered and reprinted in 1856. Since turkeys are also fairly large birds, one would be sufficient to feed a table full of people. The fact that the turkey is considered a very “American Bird” also helped cement its status as a staple in every Thanksgiving meal.