“Thanksgiving Food is Mexican Food”


“Guahalote” (wah-HA-low-TEH) is the Nahuatl (MesoAmerican) Indian word for the large bird that was considered to be named the national symbol by Benjamin Franklin. He lost to the Bald Eagle.

Besides, Mr. Franklin is famous for his disparagement of things foreign to Colonial America – like immigrants from Germany. In his defense, he may not have known that the domesticated turkey was domesticated by Mexican Indians centuries before any Englishman thought to follow the hated Spanish across the Atlantic Ocean to find and found a new world.

Yes, that majestic giant fowl known as the turkey was domesticated by the Mexican Indian in the Valley of Mexico – probably in the Valley, along with corn, squashes and numerable other food items we use to celebrate Thanksgiving day. The Sweet Potato came, we think, from the Yucatan Peninsula of ancient and modern Mexico.

The Indians called it “Guahalote” the Spanish called it a “pavo” (paw-voh). Nutritionists call it protein. There were no cattle or cattle-like animals in the New World that were domesticated into a massive protein source as cattle and even horses were in the Old World of Europe and the Middle East experienced. The French today enjoy horse meat, as do American pet dogs.

Back to Franklin and his fellow Englishmen whose idea of undomesticated fowl were the size of chickens. The turkey’s the colonials found were lean, larger than chickens; birds that had a breast that was a meal unto itself. It was also easily domesticated so that the thousands of lean wild turkeys could be penned and domesticated in the first generation. They could also get larger after being fed with corn and other cereals, larger than their wild cousins who lived off the land in a land where corn is not natural in the wild. The colonials found out what the Mesoamerican Indian discovered; “herds” of turkeys could feed a lot of people. Colonials called them flocks.

The turkey takes second place to chickens in world bird diet but, is number one on our tables on Thanksgiving Day. It is one more usurpation of Mexican food on our Thanksgiving plate along with corn and sweet potatoes. Add to that potatoes from Peru and cranberries from New England and one finally arrives at an all-“American” meal.
White meat; dark meat, sounds like America’s race question. Laugh out loud!
Enjoy it. Happy