Once upon a time, a boat-load of US settlers (technically a half boat-load, as so many of them had already died during their first New England winter) were greeted by a handful of Native Americans, who taught them how to fish, grow corn and gather sap from the maples. After their inaugural successful harvest, the ‘pilgrims’ (as they became known) hosted a banquet to thank the ‘Indians’ (as they became known), and thus Thanksgiving was born. A mainstay of the US calendar, it’s now held on the fourth Thursday in November. Some of the ingredients featured in that initial celebratory meal (including turkey, lobster, squash and pumpkin) have gone on to become Thanksgiving ‘staples’, though poor old clams never made the cut. And many of the other US family faves – such as mac ’n’ cheese, glazed hams or key lime pie – actually began to appear much later. Tania Ballantine
If that’s made you hungry, then check out our list of Thanksgiving menus around town and get booking!