Cornucopias and COVID-19: Thanksgiving Foods 2020


JC Cortez, Staff Writer

Thanksgiving: a national holiday celebrating the harvest and other blessings of the past year. In a year where something new could happen every day, most look for the comfort of what’s normal. A day spent appreciating our blessings and the closest people in our lives looks a lot different this year with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. One thing we can all rely on during these times is the classic Thanksgiving menu. So many options beg the question, “What is the best Thanksgiving food?” Lucky for you, I’ll be breaking down and ranking five of the most common Thanksgiving dishes to determine their pros and cons. 

Starting at number five would be the ham. When one thinks of a Thanksgiving meal, ham isn’t necessarily on their mind. Yet it always seems to sneak onto the dinner table, despite no one remembering having cooked it. Not to mention it being in a lower meat tier, compared to turkey. Along with its incredibly high amount of sodium, ham’s appearance is something that could make a festive holiday somber. Overall, ham doesn’t produce the same flavor rush we get from our other four foods, justifying its low ranking. 

Next, at number four is turkey. Yes, that’s right. Turkey. Arguably the symbol of Thanksgiving simply just does not live up to its hype. Turkey’s problem isn’t that it tastes bad, but that literally any other meat tastes better, besides ham of course. Whether it be the dryness of the white meat or the lack of flavor of the dark meat, it seems turkey is only good for putting me asleep. The president should do America a favor and pardon all the turkeys.

Coming in at number three is stuffing. Fortunately, I will not be “stuffing” any of it in my mouth due to its appearance. One may refer to this common side as the candy corn of Thanksgiving. I struggle to understand the point in American history where someone said, “Hey, you know what would improve the perfection of that butter and bread we’ve been doing just fine surviving on? Putting a bunch of green nonsense in it.” Yet, here we are with bread and vegetables that we’re supposed to give thanks for. 

At number two comes a more uplifting rating for pumpkin pie. I’ve never been a huge fruit person, but even I concede that fruit pies are a seasonal staple. Thanksgiving being a fall holiday allows pumpkin-flavored items such as pie to thrive, especially on the dessert table. Partnered with some whipped cream on top and ice cream on the side, pumpkin pie proves to dominate year after year from tip to crust. Although it may be responsible for my added “stomach padding” this winter, pumpkin pie needs to be at your dinner.

Simply the most dependable and delicious Thanksgiving menu item would be mashed potatoes. As one of the most versatile foods on the planet, the potato simply never seems to fail. But in mash-form, it becomes otherworldly. Want to put your mouth in flavor-heaven: mashed potatoes. Sour cream, buttermilk, crème fraîche—all will do wonders for your spuds by adding richness and a pleasant tang. Its creamy texture allows it to be eaten so fast that we forget it’s our fourth serving. Certainly it’s not a dish suited for daily consumption, but that’s why we have the Potato Salad, right?  

With less than a week until Thanksgiving 2020, it’s crucial to remember to be grateful for what we have, appreciate those around us, and leave the ham at home!