In earlier posts in this Thanksgiving mini-series, we examined how several of the essential ingredients of a Thanksgiving feast—turkey, corn and potatoes—originated in Mexico. We round off this Thanksgiving series with a look at pumpkin pie.
All varieties of pumpkin, whatever their size and shape, belong to the Cucurbita genus. While there are some doubts about the precise origin of the wild forms of pumpkin, they were certainly being cultivated in Mexico as long ago as 5500 BC and were an integral part of the daily diet of many Indian groups. The use of “pumpkin” in English can apparently be traced back to the year 1547. For many people, pumpkins are eternally associated with both Thanksgiving and with Halloween.
Given that the first Thanksgiving was held in New Spain (Mexico) and that many of the essential ingredients of modern-day celebrations of Thanksgiving are Mexican in origin, when the residents of the USA sit down for their Thanksgiving meal, they really are taking part in an “All-American” celebration.
Many traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners would simply not be the same were it not for a few key ingredients from Mexico!
So, wherever you are this festive season, keep your eyes open for Mexican influences…
¡Happy Thanksgiving, and seasonal greetings to all!
Previous posts in the Thanksgiving mini-series:
- Thanksgiving originated in Mexico, not in the USA!
- The geography of Thanksgiving: why a Mexican bird came to be called turkey
- Corn, another of Mexico’s gifts to Thanksgiving
- Potatoes, yet another Mexican contribution to Thanksgiving…