Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Cranberry Sauce Tradition

As we sit down for Thanksgiving dinner, CNN's website informs us that the cranberry sauce that will grace most American tables was almost certainly not eaten by the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving:

While the cranberries the Pilgrims needed were probably easy to come by, making cranberry sauce requires sugar. Sugar was a rare luxury at the time of First Thanksgiving, so while revelers may have eaten cranberries it's unlikely that the feast featured the tasty sauce. What's more, it's not even entirely clear that cranberry sauce had been invented yet. It's not until 1663 that visitors to the area started commenting on a sweet sauce made of boiled cranberries that accompanied meat.

There's the same problem with potatoes. Neither sweet potatoes nor white potatoes were available to the colonists in 1621, so the Pilgrims definitely didn't feast on everyone's favorite tubers.

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