Americans mark Thanksgiving the way their forebears didn't

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When Americans sit down on Thursday to eat stuffed Thanksgiving turkey, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes, followed by a slice of pumpkin pie, many think they are upholding a 400-year-old tradition.

They aren't.

The meal which settlers from England shared with native Americans in 1621, which has come to be known as the first Thanksgiving, probably didn't feature many of the culinary favorites that grace tables at present day Thanksgivings, and almost definitely did not happen in November, a food historian told AFP.

Indeed, 1621 wasn't even a festival of giving thanks, but was "clearly a harvest festival," said Kathleen Curtin of the Plimoth Plantation in Massachusetts, where a 17th-century farming village set up by English colonists on native American tribal lands has been recreated.

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