7 Signs You're Having a California Thanksgiving (2024)

Sourdough stuffing > all other stuffing.

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Californians might not lay claim to Utah's own Frog-Eye Salad or the Dakotas' Snickers Salad (we're still not sure if either of theseconcoctionsbelong as aside or a dessert), but they most definitely know how to make a bangin' (farm-fresh!)Thanksgiving spread. Here's a sign thatyou're fortunate enough to stuff yourself in the Golden State.

1. GRILLED TURKEY IS THE CENTERPIECE.

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When it's 70 degrees and sunny for most of the year, why roast a turkey inside for most of the day when you can be outside on your patio grilling one? Californians take grilling seriously 365 days a year, Thanksgiving included.

2. SOURDOUGH SNEAKS IN SOMEWHERE.

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Fact: Not everyone can easily mimic the perfect chewiness and tangy flavor of California's famous sourdough bread. (I binge on the stuff whenever I go home to visit family.) So it's no surprise that instead of using a loaf ofplain white bread, challah (such an East Coast move) or cornbread, West Coasters reach for their belovedsourdough.

3. VEGETABLE SIDES AREN'T GLOPPED IN MAYO.

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Excuse the sweeping generalization, but it's safe to say that compared to some other parts of the country, sun-kissed Californians tend to eat pretty healthy. (They have to be trim for all their hikes and beach outings, duh.) But they're also blessed with being an agricultural hub, withamazinglocally grown produce readily available. They don't have to rely on condiments to make the veggies taste great; a little butter or olive oil, lemon juice (a must),and salt and pepper is all we need.

4. GARLIC BREAD IS THE CARB OF CHOICE.

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Thanksgiving might be the day of Parker House rolls, but that's too fussy for Californians, whose true love is garlic (after all,the city of Gilroy is dubbed the Garlic Capital of the World). Store-bought or homemade garlic bread is always welcome at the table.

5. BRUSSELS SPROUTS PREVAILOVER GREEN BEANS.

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The rest of the country might be finally coming around on the hearty cruciferous vegetable, but residents of California, where most U.S. Brussels sproutsare grown, haven't needed any convincing. They're always a fave on the Thanksgiving table, with or without bacon.

6. MAYBE YOU'LL SEE PECAN PIE, MAYBE YOU WON'T.

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Desserts knows no bounds in California, where cooks don't limit themselves to the traditions of apple, pumpkin, or pecan pie. Dessert is one area where Californians like to change it up, experimenting with pumpkin cheesecake, trifles, and tarts.

7. PINOT NOIR NEVER STOPS FLOWIN'.

What Californians are perhaps most thankful for? Wine. Pinot noiris a gold standard—and the perfect Thanksgiving wine given how easy-drinking and food-friendly it is. California and its neighbor Oregonproducemore of itthan any other area in the U.S., so you can bet that you'll be washing down turkey with the red.

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