REVIEW: Cranberry Sauce & Green Bean Casserole: The Best and Worst Holiday Dishes

A Review of Everyones Favorite Holiday Dishes

This image shows what many Americans plates looked like on Thanksgiving

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This image shows what many Americans plates looked like on Thanksgiving

An astounding “67 Million cans of Cranberry Sauce are sold in between Thanksgiving and Christmas” according to Adweek. During the month of November the holiday season officially begins with Thanksgiving, a time when many come together and give thanks. Americans across the country prepare their meals for this day inviting families into their homes or traveling for the holiday. For years there have been staples for Thanksgiving that many families across the U.S Some of these foods have their strengths and their weaknesses.

Foods including Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing, Turkey, Green Bean Casserole,and Mashed Potatoes are some of the staples that can be seen as many thanksgiving dinners. Between the smell, taste and texture, and the overall presentation, these foods all have very distinct differences that make them unique yet some lack in areas.

Similar to Jello, Cranberry Sauce is one of the most definitive sides on Thanksgiving with people either loving it or absolutely hating it. With a texture similar to some type of pudding/ Jello situation from the school cafeteria it feels somewhat jiggly when in the mouth yet is slippery and can have a tendency to slide down throats. The taste comes in like a punch to the stomach with the taste of cranberry yet a thousand times sweeter making this side taste more like a dessert, making it pair well with the more savory sides that come along with the traditional Thanksgiving meal. The smell is very potent and many can tell when a can is freshly opened. When looking at the overall presentation of this side, many can feel uneasy due to its tendency to conform to the shape of the can showing each and every line of the can. As the sauce slides out in a perfect cylinder shape it is usually then cut up into slices. Overall this side comes in at number three while this is not the worst food of the bunch it also is not the best, due to its strong taste that can overbear at times but also the way that it complements savory pieces in the meal, puts it at the number three spot.

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Many Americans favorite food on thanksgiving, Stuffing and being compared to some type of bake. The texture of this dish is mostly all over the place with some bites that can be crunchy and others that could be soft all depending on what ingredients lie within the stuffing being consumed. Similar to the texture the taste of stuffing is also dependent on what exactly is in the stuffing usually with more of a savory taste it makes it a great addition to many Thanksgiving meals. As the smell wafts through the air many can smell the breaded pan that many dream of for Thanksgiving. While this dish might not be the prettiest to look at due to the way that it is looked in the pan combined with the way that it doesn’t always cut the same, the presentation can be lacking at times. Overall with this dish’s complexity and the fact that it wouldn’t be a true Thanksgiving meal without it, Stuffing is taking the second place spot on the list.

The staple of many Thanksgiving meals, Turkey is eaten by many but can also be seen getting substituted for by ham and even other types of food. The texture of Turkey is extremely dry and has very little flavor if not seasoned or cooked the right way. When a Turkey is cooked the right way the flavor can be redeemed yet it is still found to be very dry in many situations. As the smell floods throughout houses as it cooks over hours the smell is almost always better than it actually tastes. Which is very unfortunate for many. One thing that really saves Turkey in many situations is the gravy which makes the dish a whole lot less dry. When looking at the Turkey it usually just looks like strips of rotisserie chicken, nothing really special so the presentation isn’t ever really anything that spectacular. When looking at Turkey all together, due to its pure dryness this dish is landing itself in the fourth place spot even though it is one of the biggest staples at a Holiday dinner.

Green Bean Casserole. An interesting dish to say the least, the texture is almost soupy at times with a little crunch. The taste is quite powerful in the sense that it really showcases the taste of the Green Bean and also adds a veggie component to the Thanksgiving meal which is quite important to many. While the taste and texture are different from many things that I usually eat, the smell is similar to the taste, yet the Green Beans are more smelly in the air rather than strong in the flavor, kinda similar to cooking broccoli. The overall presentation is similar to stuffing in the sense that it is really ugly and not the greatest or most appealing to look at yet people still seem to somewhat enjoy it. Green Bean Casserole after all of its efforts between taste and texture this dish lands itself in the fifth place spot, meaning that it doesn’t seem to have the most utmost importance at the Thanksgiving meal.

Whole potatoes but mashed up, mashed potatoes, are yet another staple found at thousands of Americans’ dinner tables on Thanksgiving. The warmness of the mashed potatoes slides down the throat and adds just a great flavor along with the other foods on the table. The texture is smooth, sometimes a few lumps and is relatively a little dense rather than light. The taste is impeccable when adding in butter and small amounts of salt. The smell of the potatoes is just as great as the taste smelling like a true thanksgiving when you can smell them. When looking at the full picture they look similar to a bowl full of vanilla ice cream and they just look perfect and ready to eat. When looking at this dish as a whole it has many great attributions that land this dish the first place spot.

As these foods competed in each category it was clear to see where some of the dishes’ flaws were and what would possibly need to happen to have them climb higher on the list. Clearly people have their own options on these dishes but it all depends on the person.