Thanksgiving in Europe

By Patrizia Ferlini

How we celebrate Thanksgiving in Europe

Thanksgiving is a very heartfelt and popular holiday in the United States. On the fourth Thursday of November, the Pilgrim Fathers gather to thank the Lord for the year’s harvest. In recent years, like other holidays, it is catching on in Europe as well.

“The typical dish of Thanksgiving Day is exactly that – the turkey, usually accompanied with a gravy or cranberry sauce and as side dishes potatoes are never missing, neither are corn on the cob and green beans.”

Where is it possible to eat the best stuffed turkey in Europe? The typical dish of Thanksgiving Day is exactly that – the turkey, usually accompanied with a gravy or cranberry sauce and as side dishes potatoes are never missing, neither are corn on the cob and green beans. Those who think that only in their native country are they able to create unique dishes are wrong. Even in Europe the tradition of turkey is gaining ground and there are many restaurants offering a themed menu. Even at home level, families who decide to celebrate this holiday are increasing, let’s see what’s happening around the continent.

Traditional Feasts in the Bel Paese 

Milan is one of the first cities to join the Thanksgiving celebration. Obviously, it couldn’t stay in the background and so restaurants started offering dishes that you might usually see in an American diner. Today, as time has passed, they have perfected their techniques, presenting true traditional gourmet menus. There is no shortage of turkey, which is often served with chestnut bread and coleslaw, and to top it all off, sweet brownies. As there are several American establishments in the city, it will not be difficult to find a place to experience the real excitement of Thanksgiving.

Once Upon a Time In England

Taking a step back in time, you can find evidence of this holiday in England. It seems that Thanksgiving Day coincided with the celebration of St. Michael, on September 29. It is said that people, thankful for the harvest they got and for the blessings they received, used to eat special cakes and breads, to accompany a goose stew. This story has its origins in the Hebrides islands and today it is no longer celebrated.

“In Switzerland there is instead the Bénichon, the thanksgiving feast of the end of the harvest, today celebrated as a festival rich in gastronomical events.”

From St. Stephen to Bénichon

Moving on to Hungary, one finds a Thanksgiving feast like the American one on St. Stephen’s Day, which coincided with the end of the wheat harvest. In Switzerland there is instead the Bénichon, the thanksgiving feast of the end of the harvest, today celebrated as a festival rich in gastronomical events. The traditional dish is boiled meat, accompanied with saffron and mustard bread. Mulled wine is never missing. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, but everyone in the world has something to be thankful for.

CONTRIBUTOR

Patrizia, born in 1992, graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico of Milano. I’ve always loved this world of stories, stories and construction techniques, but what really didn’t convince me was the idea of spending my life between subway trips, fixed schedules, patterns and habit. It was exactly in front of the possibility of having a permanent contract that I decided to leave for America. To do what, you may be wondering? To realize the first of my many dreams: being a cook. And here I am, writing stories of my travels, of the people I met during my transoceanic trips and handing down the recipes of the dishes I taste around the world.

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