Here are Arizona’s favorite Thanksgiving side dishes
Turkey Day is only a few weeks away and now that Arizonans have cast their votes in two of the most contentious political races in the country, assuming they’re still not re-counting votes for weeks, it’s time to get behind other Arizona choices — that of their favorite Thanksgiving side dishes.
In order to get in the festive spirit of overeating, arguing politics, and watching football, before we sink into a turkey tryptophan haze, we thought we’d take a break from Arizona sportsbooks to look at the most popular plates on the table next to the turkey.
As expected, it was a close contest. Thankfully, mashed potatoes are not claiming voter fraud.
Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes Lead The Way
Coming in at No. 1 is stuffing. Stuffing has a huge advantage in the survey because it can be made hundreds of ways — vegan, with sausage, with cherries, raisins or apples, with white, challah or sourdough — and many Thanksgiving tables often have two types of stuffing. Stuffing was voted the No. 1 side dish in Phoenix and Tucson.
Next on the list are mashed potatoes. You can actually grow potatoes in Arizona over two short seasons and a popular variety in the heat has smooth yellow skin and a yellowish flesh. There’s also a potato variety called the Arizona … but it doesn’t grow in Arizona.
There is, however, a dish called Arizona Potatoes, which adds cream, mushroom soup and corn flakes to hash browns for a dish that could be delish. Mashed potatoes also have many varieties, as different cooks have different potato preferences.
Potatoes are a relatively bland vessel for flavor, so the quantity of added cheese, butter, cream or chives, can completely change the dish. That also goes for the quality of the mash — smooth or chunky? I like mine with a little body and a hint of garlic.
Also In The Mix…
In third place in Arizona is green bean casserole. Green bean casserole has always been a dish I thought Campbell’s invented in order to sell more cream of mushroom soup, and in researching this article I learned the dish was invented in a Campbell’s test kitchen in 1955.
I like it with a topping of crinkled fried onions. Green bean casserole was the top choice in Yuma.
Next comes macaroni & cheese, a classic side dish for any holiday — and a main dish at the children’s table. I just can’t fathom the pilgrims and Indians sitting down and eating pasta.
In fifth place, with only 11% of the vote, is cranberry sauce. I have to take issue with the survey here, because cranberry sauce is not a side dish — it’s a Thanksgiving condiment.
Over the years cranberry sauce has grown from the gelatinous form still in the shape of a can, to a fancy recipe with fresh cranberries, orange zest and sprinkled nutmeg, but it remains a food where the canned version is king. It’s a tart table complement to the sweet stuffing and turkey gravy.