1621, Plymouth, Massachusetts made the start (even though some doubt that and give more credit to Berkeley Hundred in Virginia in 1619). In both cases, an exceptional harvest has led to a feast among the Pilgrims and Puritans who came from England and brought their traditions.
Everyone knows that today a big, fat turkey is the essential ingredient, but it has been delivered that it was not on the menu at the Plymouth feast of 1621: their menu consisted of waterfowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin and squash.
The use of the turkey in the USA for Thanksgiving precedes Lincoln’s nationalization of the holiday in 1863. Alexander Hamilton proclaimed that no „Citizen of the United States should refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day,“ and many of the Founding Fathers (particularly Benjamin Franklin) had high regard for the wild turkey as an American icon, but turkey was uncommon as Thanksgiving fare until after 1800. By 1857, turkey had become part of the traditional dinner in New England.
Today, turkey is a must and in the USA alone that makes 270 million turkeys, worth 8 billion US$ – and a per capita consumption of roughly 8 kilos (18 pounds), one third of that being eaten at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Over a hundred friends and family celebrated Thanksgiving with the American Club of Hamburg, with turkey like the Founding Fathers wanted it, at a perfectly orchestrated family event at Apples Restaurant of the Park Hyatt in Hamburg on November 24, the fourth Thursday of November, as tradition demands.
With more kids attending this year, the atmosphere was a little more casua, which all served the character of this family style feast all too well.
A big „Thank you“ to Mr. Tashi Takang and the team of Apples Restaurant and the Park Hyatt for the excellent hospitality.