If you are planning to host a big Thanksgiving gathering, or even a little one, you might want to consider the results of a very small survey that revealed the most disliked Turkey Day foods. An annual holiday survey* from The Vacationer says these are the most disliked Thanksgiving foods:
- Cranberry Sauce (29.92% dislike)
- Turkey (28.09% dislike)
- Sweet Potatoes or Yams (24.25% dislike)
- Green Bean Casserole (24.61% dislike)
- Stuffing or Dressing (23.42% dislike)
- Coleslaw (21.68% dislike)
- Ham (21.23% dislike)
- Pumpkin Pie (20.77% dislike)
- Mashed Potatoes (17.57% dislike)
- Macaroni and Cheese (14.73% dislike)
- Corn (13.82% dislike)
- Carrots (12.08% dislike)
The validity of this survey is highly suspect since it didn’t include yours truly, whose opinion is always available. (If you don’t believe it, just ask me.) Since I wasn’t included, I’ll just have to elucidate here:
1. I happen to love cranberry sauce. Yes, the highly criticized stuff that comes in a can. Jellied or whole berry, although the latter would be my preference. Even better is cranberry-orange relish, but it’s so hard to find I’m not sure Ocean Spray even makes it anymore. It’s delicious year round.
2. Turkey? Gotta have it. I’d prefer a good steak, but hey, it’s Thanksgiving. I’m the perfect guest, however, because I much prefer the dark meat, especially if the cook really knows how to do turkey. And this way I’m thoughtfully leaving more white meat for everyone else.
3. Sweet potatoes or yams. I love ’em all year, any time. Baked, with a ton of butter, or fried. People get crazy with them at Thanksgiving, and not necessarily in a good way. They are potatoes, not candy. Forget the marshmallows. Except one year my sister-in-law fixed a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top and pecans mixed all through it. Divine! I had several helpings.
4. Green bean casserole? I can take it or leave it. It can be very good, but more often than not, it’s mediocre or worse.
5. Stuffing or dressing is an absolute necessity. What else is going to soak up all that delicious giblet gravy? And you’ll need it for your next-day turkey sandwiches. It’s where all the real Thanksgiving flavor resides. (I notice gravy didn’t make the list. Is that because they forgot to include it, or because nobody doesn’t like gravy?)
6. Coleslaw? Huh? I’ve never, ever had coleslaw at Thanksgiving. Must be a thing from some other part of the country.
7. Ham is what you have at Christmas so you don’t have to fix/eat turkey again.
8. I can do without the pumpkin pie. Give me pecan every time. With vanilla ice cream, please.
9. Aren’t mashed potatoes a bit redundant with sweet potatoes on the menu? I like ’em, though, if there’s plenty of gravy.
10. Mac and cheese. Seriously? This gets mentioned every year in discussions of Thanksgiving, and I’ve yet to see mac and cheese on that day. This has to be a geographical thing — in some place I’ve never been in November.
11. I love corn anytime, but we’ve more than enough starch already.
12. Carrots? Why? Where? Just another veggie that some people must like. They’re okay, but completely unnecesary.
Bottom line, IMHO, there’s way too much food at Thanksgiving, even if that is the purpose/intention. As a polite guest I’ll take a tablespoon of everything and still end up with far more than I can eat. I wish the cooks would not work as hard as they do. I’d be quite content with generous servings of turkey (nice juicy thigh meat), stuffing, gravy, and cranberry sauce. Oh, and rolls or biscuits of some kind. They weren’t on the list. And although it also didn’t make the list, a nice light green salad on the side instead of all the starchy heavy stuff. Then pecan pie ala mode for dessert — an hour later. (A sister-in-law from Seattle once mentioned she’d never had pecan pie; she’d always had walnut pie. Now there’s something I’d like to try.)
So that’s it for me. What do you particularly like or dislike for Thanksgiving? Come, come, there are no right or wrong answers here. I’m just
*This Holiday Travel 2021 Survey was conducted by SurveyMonkey on behalf of The Vacationer. In total, 1,092 Americans over the age of 18 were polled on October 17. Of those surveyed, 47.25% were male and 52.75% were female. The age breakdown of participants included in this survey was 25.00% in the range 18-29, 21.98% in the range 30-44, 30.86% in the range 45-60, and 22.16% over 60. This survey has a confidence level of 95% and a margin of error of ±3.026%.