Apparently Americans have had it wrong for generations: The first Thanksgiving wasn’t put on by the pilgrims in New England. According to some southerners, it was first celebrated in the great state of Texas. Though the United States was just a twinkle in our forefathers’ eyes, Texas claims to have started the longstanding tradition in San Elizario back in 1598 (that’s 23 years before the pilgrims feasted). As it goes, the Lone Star State celebrates its quirky history by serving up standards with a big ol’ Texas twist. Our favorite? The go-to fried turkey because, let’s be honest, everything is better fried.
Of course, you can’t have a November feast without pie — especially in the South. Sink your teeth into Bruno Davaillon’s pumpkin cheesecake at The Mansion Restaurant. It’s topped with candied pecans and gingerbread ice cream and is absolutely divine.
And believe it or not, Texas is the land of pecans (they’ve grown in the region since prehistoric times) and the folks here have mastered the pecan pie. To really up the ante on this classic dessert, indulge in Thanksgiving dinner at The Inn at Dos Brisas. Chef Raj Dixit serves his luxurious version of pecan pie, mixing in Macallan scotch and Michele Cluizel 78 percent bitter chocolate, and tops it all off with wood pit smoked ice cream.
Though most of the country knows the Thanksgiving staple as stuffing, Texans refer to it as “dressing,” because you want to dress everything in it. Sure, every family has their own secret recipe, but we can practically guarantee you haven’t tried something as good as Dean Fearing’s tortilla dressing. With crispy fried tortilla strips, crumbled cornbread, jalapeño and cilantro, Fearing’s spin on classic cornbread stuffing is out-of-this-world delicious.
And, there you have it, a Texas Thanksgiving.
Photo Courtesy of Doug Bosch, The Inn at Dos Brisas