Dinner is Served


Cody Finch

Culinary teacher, Ann Guffey, teaches her students how to cook various dishes.

As Thanksgiving approaches, the annual festivities start to occur. Thanksgiving is looked upon as the holiday to say what one is grateful for and to surround oneself with family and friends. However, the heart of the holiday most talked about is the Thanksgiving dinner. The holiday brings about traditional, Norman Rockwell inspired foods- Turkey, Macaroni and Cheese, and Stuffing. However, with so many cultures around the world, the holiday brings many different varieties of foods to be served during the celebration.

Cultures vary around the world, differing between countries such as Spain, Vietnam, and Brazil. In those different countries, many different traditions are brought into the American holiday. Aside, from the typical Thanksgiving foods, different cultures bring foods that originate from their native country to celebrate the time. For Junior, Bhavyalakshmi Gireesh, her Indian culture is a big influence on what she and her family eat during the Thanksgiving dinner.

“Me and my family don’t really cook the ‘traditional’ Thanksgiving foods, but instead we cook Indian foods from our culture. We cook foods like Chicken and Rice, such as Biriyani, and we also cook Naan and Curries,” said Gireesh.

All of these different foods have an origin. Whether it comes from the native culture or it comes from relatives who have made it since childhood, some of these foods are very dear and personal to these people and their indigenous culture. Some of these traditions originate from their parents always making it whenever they were little. For Junior, Kaley Ngo, the dishes that she eats during Thanksgiving roots and originates from her Vietnamese culture.

“Ever since I was a child, my parents would always cook Bun Bo Hue, which is a Vietnamese dish from a city in Vietnam for Thanksgiving. Bun Bo Hue is like a soup type dish with meats like beef, noodles, and other ingredients you can put in the soup. My parents always cook it for Thanksgiving and other events whenever we have relatives over,” said Ngo.

Not only are these dishes served present time, but some of these dishes date back to centuries ago. Each dish that is served has a specific origin and history behind it.. Some of these dishes were eaten and served by famous historical figures and ancestors. For Junior, Ella Hernandez, her Mexican heritage and traditions date back farther than she can remember.

“Although my Hispanic family enjoys traditional American food on Thanksgiving such as Turkey, macaroni, and stuffing, we also eat cultural foods like mole, tamales, and pozole. These foods originated from indigenous tribes in Mexico and other Latin American countries. I think there’s something beautiful about how food can be something that can be passed down by generation as a remembrance of history and culture,” said Hernandez.

Throughout the years, Thanksgiving has developed immensely. From the beginning of the Native Americans and The Pilgrims coming together, each bringing foods from their different cultures, just like how different cultures and ethnicities bring dishes from their indigenous countries to celebrate diversity in the time of thanks.