November would be entirely pointless if it wasn’t for Thanksgiving. The prospect of spending the fourth Thursday of the month stuffing your face with food that makes absolutely no sense in any other context almost makes the start of flu season worth waiting for. Turkey, sweet potato pie, cranberry sauce. It’s all cracking stuff.
However, delve a little deeper into the back catalogue of Thanksgiving cookery, and it becomes clear that not everything on the menu is as comforting and nostalgic as you'd think. For whatever reason, a few cooks have apparently decided that what the holiday really needs is a touch of weirdness to temper all that good spirit. Here are some of the stranger things that get served at Thanksgiving.
1. Strawberry Pretzel Salad
The confusing concept behind Thanksgiving salads is a subject that we will be revisiting throughout this list. Calling something made with strawberry jam, whipped cream, cream cheese and crushed salty pretzel sticks a salad seems disingenuous at best and downright cheating at worst. That doesn’t change the fact that it still sounds delicious.
2. Tipsy Turkey
Not all of the oddest Thanksgiving traditions are decades old. Since 2010, an Irish pub in New York has specialised in serving a turkey soaked in 100-proof vodka for a boozy kick. The bird comes alongside vodka gravy, a vodka shot and a vodka martini, delivering “an ounce of vodka in every bite”, according to the chef. It also comes complete with a free cab ride home.
3. Sweet Potato and Marshmallow
Even though those that have tried them swear that sweet potato and marshmallow bakes are to die for, there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a seriously strange combination. Featuring sweet, on top of sweet, on top of sweet, serving such a dish alongside savoury staples such as turkey and stuffing just seems wrong.
4. Frog Eye Salad
You’d be hard pressed to come up with a less appetising name for a pasta dish than this. The hideous sounding frog eye salad unfortunately doesn’t get any tastier as you go through the ingredients list. A mixture of pasta shells, oranges, pineapple, eggs, whipped cream somehow makes you wish you were actually eating real frogs eyes.
5. Ambrosia Salad
Next up on the list of god awful sounding salads, we have this midwestern monstrosity. A combination of marshmallows, canned fruit and either sour cream or mayonnaise, ambrosia salad might sound like something you’d want on the dinner table, but the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.
6. Jell-O Salad
Just because a dish makes into foodie folklore doesn’t make it any less horrible. Chefs have the freedom to be as esoteric as they like when making this dish, meaning that Jell-O salads can end up including everything from fruit to fish and everything in between. For this nightmarish lucky-dip factor, these salads are one of the weirdest foods on earth.
7. Brussel Sprout Soda
After slowly making your way through weird pasta and sweet potato, you’ll probably want something refreshing to slake your thirst. To continue the Thanksgiving theme onto the drinks menu, customers can now get their hands on the world’s first ever Brussel sprout soda. Courtesy of the Jones Soda Company, a drink like this is certainly an orthodox way to wash down dinner.
As we’ve discussed, there are already plenty of delicious things that make Thanksgiving awesome. You don’t need to jeopardise the whole experience by offering anything from this list. While we’re all for taking risks, somethings are better left as they are.