The story tells that on the first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims invited the native people of what is now New England to share a meal with them to give thanks to God for the good harvest. The main dish on that occasion was turkey, which was one of the local birds found in the region.
Eating turkey at Thanksgiving became a tradition that has been handed down over hundreds of years. Other dishes have also become part of the celebration. These more recent additions were introduced by new waves of immigrants to the United States.
The number of Latinos moving to the United States is increasing daily and they bring with them their good intentions and gratefulness to God for allowing them to reap the benefits of this great land. They also bring their customs and their traditions. This includes their cuisine, an important part of their culture.
These immigrants and others from around the world could be called the New Pilgrims, in their willingness to share, give thanks, and incorporate typical dishes from their regions into Thanksgiving meals.
Many immigrants celebrate Thanksgiving with their U.S. friends by contributing a dish from their own lands. It’s not surprising to find people sitting down to a meal of traditional roast turkey served with rice and black beans (a Cuban dish), a seafood appetizer (from Chile), or a papaya dessert (from Venezuela).
Good traditions go beyond food and decorations and survive over time because they continue in the spirit of those who celebrate them. This year, therefore, we should give thanks to the New Pilgrims and the hospitable natives who open the doors of their homes, and share in the new international dishes that will become tradition over time.
*Nutritionist of the MyDiet™ Team, President of the Venezuelan Society for Nutritional Education
© 2016 HolaDoctor