Question for non-Americans and American expats - Thanksgiving

For those Americans living in other countries, did you still try and do traditional Thanksgiving? I read that turkey is uncommon outside the USA. So were you able to buy the basic ingredients like turkey and cranberries.

Also is pumpkin common outside the USA? How about pecans?

Do other countries even do pie?

For non-Americans - what do you think of the holiday? I suppose it’s basis is a traditional “harvest” festival which is common in other cultures.

There was a similar thread a few weeks ago. I lived in Hungary from '98-'03. Turkey was ubiquitous there, though finding a whole bird required notifying the butcher ahead of time, as they were always broken down for parts the first few years I lived there (though the later years I found them whole at the market without having to call ahead.)

Cranberries were a bit dear, but findable (maybe 5x the non-sale price you’d pay in the US, for an imported brand.) Pumpkin pie we made from butternut squash, which is what I like making it from here in the US, anyway. It’s all winter squash, pretty similar stuff. The translation for it in all the dictionaries was simply “pumpkin.”

Pecans? I didn’t see them out there, but I don’t use pecans in any Thanksgiving dinner, so I don’t know the reference, unless you mean pecan pie, but that’s not a Thanksgiving tradition for me. Is that a Southern thing for Thanksgiving, I assume? Pecans are native to the US, as I understand it.

Here’s that thread, by the way.

Pretty much the same menu as Christmas dinner in the UK so there no problem finding everything needed.

What is there not to like about a meat feast as the cold winter approaches and the days grow short? Whether that makes sense in the tropics or the summertime in the southern hemisphere, I am not sure.

The holiday is vaguely familiar from American movies. It is a bit odd that it comes so close to Christmas. Looking up its history it seems to be a Puritan thing. Thanksgiving from deliverance from disasters. In the UK the nearest we have to that is 5th November when we celebrate the deliverance from the Catholic gunpowder plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1604. But it is not a feast, it is a bonfire and firework celebration, somewhat like 4th July in the US. The burning of effigies of the Catholic conspirators is thought to be not very politically correct these days.:dubious:

Thanksgiving sounds like a much more wholesome, family celebration.

It is a culinary curiosity that no other country has thought of putting pastry on either sweet or savoury ingredients.

Guy Fawkes day is certainly a versatile holiday, being the nearest British equivalent to Independence Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving, as celebrated by Americans. But yes, Thanksgiving is very family-oriented: You might celebrate Independence Day with friends instead of family, and you’d probably do so for Halloween, but everyone spends Thanksgiving with family if they can.

pulykamell, pecans are pretty incidental to pecan pie, anyway. It’s mostly just an excuse to pack as much sugar into a pie pan as you possibly can.

Sounds like you need to have shoo-fly or chess pie. Those don’t have those pesky pecans taking up volume where sugar be in its place!

Moved to IMHO.

General Questions Moderator

Yeah - Christmas is the big public holiday here. Most people will be off work from Christmas Eve through to Jan 2nd. Christmas day, Boxing day and New Year’s day are all bank (public) holidays anyway, so it’s just a matter of joining them up.

Naturally, we don’t celebrate Independence Day, but I bet a good proportion of the population here know the date. Traffic on Christmas Eve is a nightmare with so many people making their way to some family get-together with Turkey, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, brussel sprouts, roast parsnips, roast potatoes and gravy; all followed by Christmas Pudding flamed in brandy and served with brandy cream or custard. Of course, there is a starter too - in our family, it is always smoked salmon. All washed down with Champagne with the salmon, a decent Bordeaux with the main course and a Riesling Auslese with the pud, followe dby port for those still sitting upright.

Later on, there will be a rich fruit cake, made a few months ago and liberally fed with brandy, accompanied by cheddar cheese to stave off starvation, and turkey and cranberry sandwiches for supper.

When I lived in Mexico, turkey was widely available. It’s an instrumental part of Mexico’s national dish, after all!

In China turkeys were always available before Thanksgiving at Metro, or via one of the Shanghai delivery services (and yes, they delivered twice a week all the way to Nanjing). Although I never attended, several of the hotels in Nanjing offered “traditional turkey Thanksgiving dinners” in their 5-star restaurants. I kind of regret never trying it out.

When I lived in Canada, I got my turkey cheap, because I picked it up after Canada’s Thanksgiving was over.

When I lived in Germany, the logistics service of the United States Army ensured that our chow halls were properly equipped with turkey. It was real turkey, too. The cooks were cutting it from actual turkeys right on the line.

Is this a joke?

I think other countries would do pie, but very few people outside the US have ovens. Don’t just assume that US culture and technology is found everywhere in the world.

It is an interesting culinary observation. Certain things are universal; pies, dumplings, sandwiches, etc.

So, yeah.:smiley:

Wut? Everybody got an oven.

Here is a short film about the British Steak Pie. This butcher is very old school, he fights the good fight to preserve the high quality of a traditional meat pie from the inferior product sold by the supermarkets that encroach this corner of London.

The oven. A US technology. :rolleyes:

I spent quite a bit of time in England back in the 90s. I often found myself eating pub food, and while I would never order a meat pie in the US (gloppy, overcooked crap for the most part), the meat pies there were a whole different animal and quite delicious. Not sure how healthy they are, so I might not be so eager to order them now, but they were tasty!

On a related note: In the UK they don’t have Thanksgiving, obviously, but for reasons unknown they have now adopted Black Friday. That would be great except nobody has the day off to go shopping. :smack:

I’ve never imposed any TG observance on myself, just accepted obligations imposed on me by others. Even when living in Canada, TG was just a work day.

Here in the Philippines, across the International Date Line, it was Friday here when y’all were celebrating Thanksgiving. When it was Thursday here, I had to go to the Immigration Office, which was open for business as usual.

We have turkey for xmas, it’s easy enough to get. As for Thanksgiving, I don’t know what the holiday is about and don’t have an opinion on it other than to get mildly irritated by the number of Australian stores who are having black Friday sales.