When we think about Thanksgiving we typically imagine turkey, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. But, for many families – especially immigrant ones – Thanksgiving tables are often a lot more colorful, hosting a wide diversity of dishes, smells and flavors that tell the story of a nation of creatives, cooks, entrepreneurs and immigrants.
Thanksgiving is a tradition that binds Americans together regardless of class, color or national origin. It’s a quintessentially American holiday. Thanksgiving tables around the country have everything from kimchi to flan, stuffing to vegetable curry, turkey to tamales, and Mapo-Dofu to maple glazed turkey. Each year, on the fourth Thursday of November, Americans are greeted with an endless array of food, loud conversations, awkward family reunions and wine – lots of it.
On Thanksgiving, countless families take part in an enterprise of creating new dishes that add flavors from home to classic Thanksgiving staples. In any given neighborhood, one house can host a Mexican-American fusion Thanksgiving dinner, while other neighbors can host Nigerian-American, Korean-American or Egyptian-American just a few doors down. Here are three Thanksgiving dishes that speak to the culinary melting pot that takes place each year on Thanksgiving:
- Pumpkin Flan – NYT Cooking (Cuban-American Fusion)
Rikki Snyder for The New York Times
This New York Times-featured dessert is a fall twist on the classic Latin American flan that is perfectly suited to wrap up a major Thanksgiving feast.
- Roast Turkey With Spicy Rice Stuffing – Taste of Beirut (Lebanese-American Fusion)
Joumana Accad for The Taste of Beirut
This Lebanese-style turkey is stuffed with fragrant rice and combined with a delectable ground-meat-and-onion mixture that can serve as a center-piece for a major Thanksgiving dinner.
- Glazed Carrots with Burnt Honey and Gochugaru – Serious Eats (Korean-American Fusion)
Sasha Marx for Serious Eats
This dish is a perfect side to any Thanksgiving dinner and features a complex blend of sweet and salty flavors making it a stand out banchan that will make you want to go back for seconds.
- Taiwanese Turkey Rice – Epicurious (Taiwanese-American Fusion)
Clarissa Wei for Epicurious
Taiwanese Turkey Rice is widely considered a traditional Taiwanese dish. In fact, more than 200,000 turkeys are bred on the island each year. It’s the perfect dish for leftover turkey meat.
- Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Chimichurri – Better Homes & Garden (Argentine-American Fusion)
Blaine Moats for Better Homes & Gardens
This vegetable dish is guaranteed to be a hit, bringing flavors from Argentina to accompany a hearty Thanksgiving meal.