November 22, 2022


Celebrating the United States of Stuffing (DIANA HUBBELL, NOVEMBER 21, 2022, Atlas Obscura)

Let's get one thing out of the way: stuffing is indisputably the best Thanksgiving dish. Turkey is fine, gravy is essential, and I'll never say no to a sweet potato, but stuffing just plain rules. It's good soused in gravy on Turkey Day, better still fried in butter and topped with sunny side up eggs for breakfast the next day. The real pros throw it in a waffle iron, creating a whole nest of craggy, crunchy edges. [...]

[E]ven if Americans didn't invent it, in our typical maximalist fashion we have taken stuffing to its logical extremes, fortifying it with an unholy amount of butter and whatever delicious things happened to be available in our home region.

In Louisiana, that might mean chunks of andouille sausage, while Texans may prefer pecans. New Englanders might throw in shucked oysters. It means the carbohydrate base of choice can be cornbread in the South, wild rice in Minnesota, mashed potatoes in Pennsylvania-Dutch country, masa in New Mexico, or brioche if you're feeling fancy.

All that variation is part of why stuffing is so difficult to define. Plus, in order to avoid salmonella contamination, most Americans no longer actually put their stuffing inside the turkey at all.

As the designated Thanksgiving cook in my household, however, I'd argue that stuffing's somewhat nebulous identity means it's one of the rare opportunities for creativity on this holiday. 

Kellogg's Croutettes are stuffing--everything else is deviant.

Posted by at November 22, 2022 12:00 AM