Thanksgiving is America's most traditional holiday meal, one with a national menu that every family follows in their own way year after year. For many of us, "traditional" means those tried-and-true recipes from Grandma's house (possibly "inspired" by a supermarket supplement or ladies' auxiliary cookbook from the '60s) that we look forward to on Thanksgiving. You may eat the same dishes every year-be they marshmallow-topped yams, straight-from-the-can cranberry sauce, or gummy white bread stuffing-but mess with the classics at your peril. Even the most experimental restaurant chefs throw in the towel at Thanksgiving and go for the crowd pleasers.
Lately, however, some restless souls have branched out and twisted our American Thanksgiving flavor profiles with a devil-may-care bravery that the pious Pilgrims might condemn, but that we love. Saviors or sinners? We'll let you be the judge.