We all know the traditional Thanksgiving menu by heart: You have your green beans, your cranberry sauce, your mashed potatoes, and your stuffing.
And at the center of it all is a big beautiful turkey roasted to perfection.
The whole meal is a warm and welcoming sight in the dark chill of late November, and it makes us think of spending time with family and friends.
But back in 1621, when the newly immigrated Puritans held the feast that would inspire today’s holiday, the meal would have been a little different. For example, no mini marshmallows!
The first Thanksgiving was held after the Puritans managed to eke out survival through a brutal Massachusetts winter and pull in a bountiful harvest the following autumn.
Feasts of Thanksgiving, as well as harvest celebrations, are common practices all over the world, and the Puritans didn’t set out to make this feast a holiday — they were just grateful to be alive.
Today, many families work hard to prepare a big meal for their guests, but compared to nearly 400 years ago, we have it very easy! Our menus would be considered downright luxurious, as would all of the delicious meals we can make out of Thanksgiving leftovers.
So what did the Puritans really eat so many years ago? Well, some of their dishes might look familiar, but others… not so much.
But as strange as some might look to us, imagine someone from 1621 trying to figure out a marshmallow!