Eat-Q Test: Thanksgiving (answers)
1. Which of these four fruits is not native to North American?
D. Concord grape
Answer: B. Early colonists brought apple seeds with them to America, and a few hardy varieties survived the harsh winters. Cranberries, blueberries, and Concord grapes grew here prior to the settler’s arrival, and were in some capacity eaten by Native Americans.
Source: “American Cranberry: Frequently Asked Questions,” University of Wisconsin-Madison Library Research Guides. N.D. Web. Accessed 16 September 2010.
2. Which of these sea creatures was served at early Thanksgiving celebrations?
Answer: B. In a 17th-century letter from Plymouth, Massachusetts, Edward Winslow wrote, “Our bay is full of lobsters,” and described a bounty of eel, fish, mussels, and oysters. Food historians believe these ocean ingredients were all a part of early Thanksgiving meals in Plymouth.
Source: Winslow, Edward. “A Letter Sent from New England,” A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Ed. Dwight B. Heath, New York: Corinth Books, 1963.
3. Today a staple at Thanksgiving tables, this food was a rare treat for wealthy Englishmen in the 17th century, who believed it to be a potent aphrodisiac:
A. Green beans
D. Sweet potatoes
Answer: D. In the 17th century sweet potatoes, originally from the Caribbean, were cultivated in Spain and imported to England, where the exotic-looking tuber gained a reputation as a libido-enhancer. Unfortunately for Englishmen in need of a boost, the climate was too cold to grow sweet potatoes, so for many generations the root remained an expensive treat reserved for the upper class.
Source: Curtin, Kathleen. “Partakers of our Plenty,” Plimoth Plantation Organization, N.D. Web. Accessed 16 September 2010.
4. Which traditional Thanksgiving food got its name because it resembled a bird’s head and neck?
C. Brussels sprouts
Answer: D. The cranberry earned its name because early settlers thought that the pale pink blossoms on the plant resemble a crane’s head and neck. The name “craneberry” stuck, and was eventually shortened to cranberry.
Source: “History of Cranberries,” Cape Cod Cranberry Grower’s Association. Web. N.D. Accessed 16 September 2010.
5. Which of these towns doesn’t actually exist?
A. Turkey, Texas
B. Turkey Creek, Louisiana
C. Turkey, North Carolina
D. Turkey Gardens, Georgia
Answer: D. Three towns in the U.S. take their name from the traditional Thanksgiving bird, including Turkey, Texas (pop. 465); Turkey Creek, Louisiana (pop. 363); and Turkey, North Carolina (pop. 270).
Source: “Turkey, Texas;” “Turkey Creek, Louisiana;” “Turkey, North Carolina.” City-Data.com. N.D. Web. Accessed 16 September 2010.
6. Which of these birds was NOT on the menu during early Thanksgiving celebrations?
Answer: C. Historians have reports of wild fowl like turkeys, swans, geese, partridge, and even eagles being hunted and eaten during early Thanksgivings, but the few hens the English settlers brought with them had likely not survived.
Source: Curtin, Kathleen. “Thanksgiving: The Pilgrim’s Menu.” HistoryChannel.com. N.D. Web. Accessed 16 September 2010.
7. Which state produces the most turkey every year?
Answer: A. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state in America, with an output of about 45 million birds every year. Of the 235 million turkeys consumed annually, 46 million of them are eaten on Thanksgiving.
Source: “Facts for Features: Thanksgiving Day.” U.S. Census Bureau Newsroom. 30 September 2009. Web. Accessed 15 September 2010.
8. Which historical figure started referring to male turkeys as “toms?”
A. Benjamin Franklin
B. Thomas Jefferson
C. George Washington
D. Andrew Jackson
Answer: A. Benjamin Franklin famously wrote of his wish for the national bird to be a turkey, asserting that “the Turkey is a much more respectable bird and withal a true original native of North America.” According to rumor, after then-president Thomas Jefferson chose the bald eagle instead, Franklin started calling male turkeys “toms” to spite Jefferson.
Source: Angleberger, Tom. “Turkey Folklore Difficult to Trace.” The Roanoke Times, 24 November 2008.
9. Which ballroom dance move was named for the short, jerky steps a turkey takes?
A. The Ballroom Blitz
B. The Turkey Trot
C. The Turkey Lindy
D. The Turkey Waltz
Answer: B. The Turkey Trot, a popular dance move in the early 1900s, was named after its turkey-esque movements. It became popular mainly because it was denounced by the Vatican as "suggestive.”
Source: “Turkey for the Holidays: History and Lore.” University of Illinois Extension. N.D. Web. Accessed 16 September 2010.
10. True or False: English families traditionally ate pumpkins to mark special occasions and they invented pumpkin pie to celebrate their arrival in America.
Answer: B. Pumpkins were native to the New World and were foreign to early English settlers who caught on to the charms of the nutritious squash after their first harsh winter, when half of the group died from starvation and exposure. After Native Americans taught the newcomers how to cook with pumpkin, it became a staple of the colonial diet (as an oft-quoted Pilgrim verse goes: “We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon/If it were not for pumpkins, we should be undoon.” It wasn’t until 50 years after the first Thanksgiving in America, however, that pumpkin pies started appearing on the table.
Source: Fern, Tracey E. “The Great Pumpkin,” Highlights for Children, 1 November 1998.
Your Eat-Q Score:
10 Correct: Your food was so good there are no leftovers
6-9: Your gravy is lump-free
3-5: You’re at the kids’ table
2 or fewer: You’re a turkey