Historians have made solid cases that the “first Thanksgiving” meal involving the Pilgrims and Native Americans never happened.
They say the story was concocted and included in history books to “create a sense of common heritage” for the children of immigrants who were coming to America from all over the world. It seems that the tradition of having turkey on the Thanksgiving table is much less “entrenched” than we’ve been led to believe.
Still, America raises a lot of turkeys, with most of the production centered in the South, where there is a rich tradition of tobacco farming. The No. 1 enemy of the tobacco plant is the hornworm, and turkeys love to munch on hornworms as much as we humans love to munch on, well, turkeys. According to farmers, 50 turkeys can protect 100,000 tobacco plants.
Once his hornworm duties are completed, however, a turkey faces an unpleasant fate: the roasting pan. And it’s not just Thanksgiving when a turkey needs to be watching his back. Between 1970 and 2004, the average American’s annual consumption of turkey jumped from 8.1 to 17.4 pounds.
Whether that “first Thanksgiving” really happened or not, the next Thanksgiving can be extremely enjoyable when you add wine to the mix.
Which wine? We’ll have some pairing ideas for turkey, ham, roast beef and a pork crown roast in tomorrow’s blog post.