DEMYSTIFIED: Why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? | Encyclopaedia Britannica



For a lot of Americans, the best thing about Thanksgiving is the food.

And no Thanksgiving meal is complete withoutthat's rightturkey!

But why turkey, exactly?

How did this strange bird come to dominate the dinner table?

Well, turkeys have a lot going for them.

For one thing, they're bigbig enough to feed a family.

For another, they're not usually raised for their eggs like chickens are.

In the old days, that meant that turkeys were more ...expendable.

Which in turn made turkey meat relatively cheap.

The fact that wild turkeys are native to North America made them a natural choice to be served at early Thanksgiving celebrations.