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Where Did Your Thanksgiving Dinner Come From?

Updated on November 22, 2016

Your Thanksgiving dinner comes from states all over the map and did not originate in your local grocery store. It is very interesting to know where each food came from before it ended up on your dinner table. When you eat your dinner, you are connecting with people throughout the United States by eating products grown in their state.


Turkey From North Carolina

You probably will have a turkey as the main meat on your table even though cornish hens and ducks are also alternatives. More than likely, your turkey is a Butterball from Mt. Olive, North Carolina where they are very popular. However, Minnesota is the highest producers of turkeys in the United States. That state raises about 49 million turkeys a year. One of them might end up on your table this Thanksgiving.

Six states that produce turkeys in the United States.

  1. Minnesota
  2. North Carolina
  3. Arkansas
  4. Virginia
  5. Missouri
  6. Indiana


Potatoes From Idaho

Whether you use white potatoes to make potato salad or mashed potatoes, know that the potatoes were probably grown in Idaho even though you bought them from your local supermarket. Here are some interesting facts about the potatoes that usually end up in a dish for your Thanksgiving dinner.

  • Potatoes remain the top vegetable crop in the United States.
  • Potatoes are grown commercially in 30 states.
  • Idaho grows more potatoes than any other state.
  • Potatoes are also grown in Washington, Wisconsin, Colorado and North Dakota.

Green Beans Casserole


Green Beans From Wisconsin

A lot of people include a green beans casserole on their Thanksgiving menu. More than likely the green beans came from Wisconsin because that state produces more green beans than the other states. The casserole is easy to make with just three ingredients. It contains green beans, cream of mushroom soup and French fried onions.


Brussel Sprouts From Washington

Some cooks like to include Brussels sprouts as their vegetable. If so, they probably came from California even though a great number of Brussel sprouts are grown in Skagit County, Washington.

Cranberries From Wisconsin

Wisconsin grows more cranberries than any other state in the nation. So, it is highly possible that the cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving dinner table contains cranberries that came from that state. Even though most cranberries come from Wisconsin, it is not the only state that produces them.

States that produce cranberries:

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Washington
  4. Oregon

Cranberries are grown in natural wetlands because they need a lot of water. Also, during the long, cold winter months, cranberries need to be in dormant. Therefore, the southern region of the United States is ideal for cranberry farming.

Stuffing or Dressing?

If you put your mixture inside the cavity of the turkey, then it is stuffing because you stuffed it inside the bird. If you keep your mixture outside the bird, then it is dressing.

Which pie do you enjoy on Thanksgiving Day?

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Pumpkin Pie From Illinois

If you use pumpkin from a can for your pumpkin pie, it probably came from Illinois, the nation’s top pumpkin grower. The top pumpkin-producing states include the following:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • California.

Pecan Pie


Pecans From Georgia

The pecans in your pecan pie probably were grown in Georgia and distributed in the United States. Georgia has the humidity and heat needed for an ideal condition for pecans.

Pecan production is also in 14 states. However, most of them are grown in Georgia, New Mexico, and Texas.

Even though there might be other pies on the table, the pecan pie is a favorite for lots of people. Other pies include sweet potato pies, pumpkin pies, and apple pies.

Sweet Potatoes From South and North Carolina

Sweet potatoes are popular in the South. They could come from South Carolina or North Carolina. Sweet potatoes can be made in a sweet potato casserole, candied yams, or sweet potato pie. If you make a sweet potato casserole, make sure to put marshmallows on top of it.


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 months ago from The Caribbean

      This year, I'll be blessed to have Thanksgiving Dinner in the pecan state, but I will remember to give thanks for the other states as well. Thank you for the very interesting roundup of contributors. The pictures of those pies are so inviting.

    • revmjm profile image

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Happy Thanksgiving, MsDora! Enjoy your time wherever you are. Thanks for reading and commenting on my article.

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