Culture Video

The Surprising History Behind Your Favorite Thanksgiving Foods [WATCH]

You’re sitting down to dinner with your family and and a bountiful spread of your favorite foods are sitting in front of you. The combination of aromas strike your very being every time a relative opens the door. You’ve got turkey, corn on the cobb, mashed potatoes, yams, and tons of other dishes that are sure to leave you full and sleepy long before it’s time to line up for Black Friday.

So where did all this food come from?

It’s Okay To Be Smart, a series from PBS Studios, created an animated short illustrating the origins of some of the most iconic Thanksgiving foods.

Corn, for example, went through about five different mutations over thousands of years before it came to look like the bright-yellow kernels we love today. Turns out, Benjamin Franklin fought pretty hard to have the turkey become our national bird as it was native to North America as much as the bald eagle.

Each dish has an unexpected history that not many people know about.

Before we plunge our forks into our Thanksgiving dinners this year, let’s take a second to appreciate the journey our food went through to get to where they are today. In another world, we could have been carving up bald eagles.

Definitely do not want to try that.

By Peter Pham

Pete's favorite foods include pizza, tacos and pretty much any kind of breakfast. He'll usually snap a photo or two while his food cools down.

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