Untraditional Foods Create New Culture Around Thanksgiving

Mixing up menu expands holiday experience

Sam Tomczik, News Editior

“My favorite Thanksgiving dish is always the mandazi,” says Rania Abdullahi ‘25. Though many may not be expecting the traditional Somali sweet bread to be served during their Thanksgiving meal, Abdullahi explains that she enjoys the blend of cultures and new history that a non-traditional Thanksgiving provides. “The origins of Thanksgiving have such negative connotations, and [the holiday] has such a negative background, so being able to experience Thanksgiving in my own cultural way is a very unique experience, and I’m very thankful for that,” says Abdullahi. 

Though her family still eats traditional Thanksgiving food, Rossalyn Moore ‘25 explains that she gets really sad whenever she eats animals, so she doesn’t eat the turkey. Moore says, “I usually eat the cranberry sauce, or stuffing, and corn.” Though she’s experimented with eating vegan turkey alternatives she, “did not love it and… would not try it again.”

Despite her encouragement of mixing up the Thanksgiving menu, Abdullahi still promotes the usual turkey, sides, and pies that many students enjoy at their Thanksgiving celebrations. However, she still recommends making the holiday “a day of thankfulness rather than a ‘Thanksgiving.’ A day more about spending time with family rather than the traditional foods. It’s about what we have now versus what’s in the past.”