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California Favorites to Include as Thanksgiving Foods
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California Favorites to Include as Thanksgiving Foods

California's diverse and delicious range of food grown in the state is the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table. Team


2 min read

November 17, 2023

Thanksgiving is a time of gathering, gratitude, and of course, indulging in delicious foods. While traditional Thanksgiving dishes are beloved across the United States, California, with its rich agricultural heritage and diverse cultures, offers a unique twist to the Thanksgiving table. Here are some of the best California favorites to include in your Thanksgiving dinner, infusing classic dishes with a taste of the Golden State.

1. Citrus-Infused Roasted Turkey

California is famous for its citrus groves, producing some of the best oranges, lemons, and limes in the country. Infuse your Thanksgiving turkey with a California twist by using a citrus marinade or glaze. The bright flavors of oranges and lemons not only add a refreshing zing to the turkey but also help in tenderizing the meat, resulting in a juicy and flavorful centerpiece for your dinner.

California is one of the few states in the country that is known for its fantastic citrus production.

2. Avocado and Pomegranate Salad

Avocado is a staple in Californian cuisine, thanks to the state’s perfect growing conditions for this creamy fruit. For a light and nutritious start to your meal, prepare a salad featuring ripe avocados, mixed greens, and pomegranate seeds. This combination not only brings a pop of color to your table but also offers a delightful mix of textures and flavors.

3. Sourdough Bread Stuffing

Sourdough bread, especially from San Francisco, is a beloved Californian specialty. Swap out traditional white bread for sourdough in your stuffing recipe to add a distinct tang and chewier texture. Mix in some local herbs and vegetables, and you have a stuffing that’s uniquely Californian and utterly delicious.

Most cities in California have stunning bakeries that make some of the best bread you'll ever eat.

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4. Artichoke and Parmesan Gratin

California is the largest producer of artichokes in the United States. Celebrate this local produce by baking an artichoke and Parmesan gratin. This dish, with its creamy texture and rich flavor, makes for a fantastic side that’s both comforting and elegant.

5. Farm-to-Table Vegetable Medley

California’s farms yield a bounty of fresh vegetables. Embrace the farm-to-table movement by preparing a vegetable medley with locally sourced produce. This not only supports California farmers but also ensures that your Thanksgiving table is loaded with the freshest and most nutritious ingredients.

California's massive amounts of farmland produce a wide variety of vegetables.

6. Valley Fresh Cranberry Sauce

California’s wine country also produces incredible cranberries. Make a homemade cranberry sauce using these local berries for a side dish that’s both tart and sweet, adding a vibrant touch to your Thanksgiving spread.

7. Almond Pumpkin Pie

California is the world’s leader in almond production. Add a Californian twist to your pumpkin pie by incorporating ground almonds into the crust or topping the pie with roasted almonds. This not only adds a nutty flavor to your dessert but also a delightful crunch.

Incorporating these Californian favorites into your Thanksgiving dinner not only adds unique flavors to your feast but also celebrates the state’s rich agricultural heritage and diverse culinary influences. Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy your California-inspired feast!

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