The best part about the holidays is the food. Presents are great, and seeing family from out of state is wonderful of course, but the holiday food on the table is what really creates an air of festivity and celebration. There's something special about reserving certain dishes for the holiday season. I look forward year-round to my mom's Greek potatoes and salmon on Christmas Eve, and the steaming mugs of spiced mulled wine that I distribute before present opening add their own touch of merriment. Since food is so central to our holiday experience, it follows that each state has its own favorite holiday recipe, from monkey bread to crab cake to everything in between!
Depending on where you live, different holiday dishes are more popular. This is affected by many factors, from the demographic of the state to which foods are readily accessible. There are also different holidays to take into account, the main food-centered ones being Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter.
Popular Holiday Recipes by State
Resting up for the big holiday week. It’s my favorite food holiday. 🦃🥧 pic.twitter.com/CIDpLppv6l
— zoeythehavaton (@imzozoonthegogo) November 21, 2020
The classic Thanksgiving meal for most Americans involves turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy and bread. Potatoes are beloved by all for the holiday meal, from mashed potatoes to sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. There is often a veggie dish as an appetizer or side dish, like green bean casserole or crispy brussels sprouts. Along with these, any self-respecting Thanksgiving table also has a variety of pies, like pecan pie, pumpkin pie and apple pie.
As for Easter, potatoes and rolls are quintessential holiday recipes, but a tender meat dish is usually the star of the show. Honey baked ham cooked in the oven or slow cooker is a popular choice, and many go the beef tenderloin or pot roast route as well. Easter is often celebrated as brunch rather than dinner, and many families go to brunch right after attending the Easter church service.
When it comes to Christmas, a fish dish is the traditional main course for holiday dinner, but many families choose ham or pork roast instead. I feel that the most important Christmas food is the sweets! The fact that we leave out cookies for Santa rather than a plate of ham or potatoes says enough on it's own. Some popular Christmas sweets are fudge, gingerbread, buttery Christmas cookies and brownies. As for drinks, eggnog, mulled cider and hot chocolate with whipped cream are classics that go wonderfully with the holiday sweets.
Now that we've reviewed each holiday, let's get back to comparing favorite holiday recipes by state. Here is a data-based map that shows the favorite holiday dish for each state!
After checking the map, you can see whether you agree with the holiday favorite of your state. This map reveals surprising truths about some states. Who knew that Hawaii loved guacamole so much, and shouldn't Idaho's favorite dish involve potatoes? The next time you bring your favorite holiday recipe to a holiday party, you'll know which state you're representing. However, the most important aspect of any holiday dish is how delicious it is!