November 23, 2017
Thanksgiving is finally here, and kitchens everywhere are likely buzzing with preparations for the turkey-centric meal and the best part of it all: sides. Though debate may swirl around what side is best, some have taken a more quantitative approach to defining what dishes are most popular from region to region.
Throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, a fried turkey is the preparation of choice, as it is for much of the East Coast (except New England, which prefers roasted turkey).
The Los Angeles Times recently compiled this and several other maps to look at how Thanksgiving dining varies from state to state. The Philadelphia area also seems to prefer cranberry sauce over sweet potato casserole.
In Pennsylvania and Delaware, a majority of people prefer mashed potatoes when it comes to the ultimate savory side dish. New Jersey, like most of New England and the West Coast, instead prefers brussels sprouts. It doesn't seem like anybody nearby is lining up for green bean casserole.
For dessert, the tri-state area unanimously agrees apple pie is No. 1. Pumpkin pie is a close second in Pennsylvania, however.
A 2015 survey from FiveThirtyEight also mapped Thanksgiving preferences throughout the U.S., finding that squash is the most “disproportionately common” Thanksgiving side dish north of Maryland, though the South gets to enjoy the far superior mac n’ cheese.
The survey, like the L.A. Times, also notes that our area is one of apple pie enthusiasm. Cheers!