What Do Mexicans Eat on Thanksgiving 2024? A Peek into Holiday Feasts

Exploring Mexican Thanksgiving Traditions: What’s Being Served? I have delved into and compiled details on the different ways Mexicans celebrate Thanksgiving, integrating traditional American dishes with Mexico’s vibrant flavors to create a unique melding of culinary traditions.

Key Takeaways

  • Mexicans celebrating Thanksgiving might infuse American dishes with traditional spices.
  • Alternative main courses such as pork loin or beef carne mechada are common.
  • The holiday is an opportunity to gather with family and friends and blend cultural traditions.

Traditional Dishes and Adaptations

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I’ve always been fascinated by the way traditional Thanksgiving dishes are reimagined with a Mexican touch. The meal is a blend of cultures, showcasing the best of both worlds with a delicious variety of flavors and adaptations.

Turkey and Its Variations

Turkey, a Thanksgiving staple, takes on new life in Mexican households. A popular variation I’ve come across is the Chile-Rubbed Turkey, which incorporates the warmth and spice of chiles to create a rich, flavorful twist on the classic roast turkey. Some families also choose to embrace their culinary heritage with turkey tamales, offering bite-sized celebrations of the season.

Stuffing and Sides

Mole, often considered a national dish of Mexico, sometimes finds its way into Thanksgiving as either a sauce for the turkey or as a unique stuffing ingredient. Side dishes often include a plethora of colors and flavors, with traditional arroz (rice) providing a comforting base. Latino influences ensure that even the sides tell a story of cultural fusion and family traditions.

Desserts and Sweet Treats

The finale of any Thanksgiving meal is the desserts. Mexican Thanksgiving menus often include sweet treats that draw from Latino cuisine, offering an array of pastry and fruit-based confections. While pumpkin pies might still hold court, I find that giving them a twist with Mexican spices or a splash of tequila for flavor makes them even more memorable.

Incorporating Mexican Flavors

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When I think of Thanksgiving, traditional flavors meld with the rich and vibrant essence of Mexican cuisine. It’s about adding that special twist to familiar dishes, making the meal memorable.

Spices and Herbs

Cumin, Cinnamon, and Oregano transform the taste profile of Thanksgiving with their distinctive notes. I adore the warm, earthy quality of cumin to roasted turkey or stuffing, effortlessly marrying the other flavors together. Cinnamon, often synonymous with sweet dishes, can be a surprising yet delightful addition to savory sides, like a sprinkle on roasted corn or in a sauce. Oregano offers a slight citrus kick that brightens up dishes, and it pairs exceptionally well with garlic and onions when creating robust, herby concoctions.

  • Cumin: Adds a warm, earthy depth.
  • Cinnamon: Brings a hint of sweet spice to savory dishes.
  • Oregano: Infuses a citrusy herbaceous flavor.

Savory Sauces and Marinades

For me, a Thanksgiving meal begs for the presence of savory sauces and marinades that feature traditional Mexican components. Consider enriching your gravy with a touch of chocolate – yes, chocolate! It might sound unusual, but Mexican chocolate, which already contains cinnamon and sometimes even ground spices, deepens the gravy’s flavor profile and adds complexity. Apart from that, creating marinades enriched with garlic, onions, and a mixture of spices, like cumin and oregano, gives the Thanksgiving turkey an unforgettable Mexican flair.

  • Chocolate in Gravy: Enriches with a complex, sweet depth.
  • Marinades with Garlic and Onion: Impart robustness to meats and vegetables.

Thanksgiving with a Mexican Twist

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When I think of Thanksgiving, traditional roast turkey and pumpkin pie come to mind, but incorporating Mexican flavors brings a new level of excitement. It’s all about fusing family favorites with the vibrant essence of Mexican cuisine.

Main Course Alternatives

For my main course, I prefer a Chipotle Citrus Thanksgiving Turkey. This bird is marinated with Mexican-inspired cilantro, garlic, and chipotle peppers, providing a smoky and tangy twist. Indeed, not your average turkey! Additionally, tender Enchiladas stuffed with leftover turkey in a red or green sauce make a joyful encore for the following day’s meal.

Unique Sides and Accompaniments

To complement the main dish, I choose sides that echo the theme. Starting with a Green Bean Casserole, I kick it up a notch by adding a dash of cumin and a sprinkle of Cotija cheese, which blends wonderfully with the traditional creamy mushrooms. Substituting regular mashed potatoes with spicy Sweet Potatoes, roasted with chipotle and honey, offers a sweet heat that’s hard to resist.

My Cornbread is far from ordinary, featuring jalapeños and cheddar to introduce a pop of flavor and texture. And let’s not overlook Empanadas — mini pastry pockets filled with savory pumpkin and toasted pecans, a beautiful blend of American harvest with a Mexican flair. When it comes to Gravy, I enrich it with a hint of cumin and chili powder, which beautifully complements my Roasting turkey and sides.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in Mexico

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As I celebrate Thanksgiving in Mexico, I’ve noticed that it’s a holiday that’s more familiar to expatriates than to locals. While not a traditional Mexican holiday, family gatherings and expressions of gratitude are still universal, and I find these themes woven into the day. For those of us from the United States residing in Mexico, it’s a time to blend cultural borders and create a unique culinary experience.

In my small circle, the Thanksgiving celebrations might include a turkey, but we might also add a Mexican twist. I love embracing the culinary traditions of Thanksgiving while incorporating local fare. Here’s how a typical Thanksgiving menu might look at my table:

  • Main Course:
    • Turkey with a Mole Sauce from Oaxaca
    • Tamales filled with turkey and chili
  • Side Dishes:
    • Chiles en nogada (stuffed poblano chiles in walnut sauce)
    • Sweet potato esquites, a play on the traditional street corn
  • Desserts:
    • Pumpkin empanadas
    • Arroz con leche, rice pudding spiced with cinnamon

Gratitude transcends language and culture, and that’s what Thanksgiving reminds me of. I feel grateful to enjoy Oaxaca’s rich flavors, to learn from the customs here, and to bring a piece of home into my Mexican life during the holidays. Whether I’m sharing stories with family or making new friends, the heart of Thanksgiving—the togetherness and the gratefulness—resonates just as deeply here.

FAQ – What Do Mexicans Eat on Thanksgiving?

Do Mexicans traditionally celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving is primarily an American holiday, so it is not widely celebrated in Mexico. However, Mexicans with family ties to the U.S., expatriates, and those who appreciate the holiday’s sentiment may choose to celebrate it.

What might a Thanksgiving meal look like in a Mexican household?

A Thanksgiving meal in a Mexican household might include traditional dishes like turkey, but with Mexican spices or cooking methods. Side dishes could feature Mexican flavors and ingredients, integrating the cultural culinary traditions.

Are there any specific Mexican dishes that are popular for Thanksgiving?

Dishes that might be served include mole (a rich, complex sauce often served over turkey or chicken), tamales, Mexican-style rice, and variations of traditional sides like corn or beans prepared with Mexican spices and herbs.


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Martin Lange
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