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American Specialty Foods for Memorable Holiday Feasts
The holidays are almost here and what to serve to make this season special is on the minds of many. Cranberry sauce from a Colonial recipe and truly wild rice harvested as it has been for centuries by Native Americans are perfect accompaniments.
Authentic cranberry sauce and wild rice, known as Manoomin and "the food that grows on water" to Minnesota's Ojibwe communities, are perfect accompaniments to a savory turkey. You can opt for a wild turkey like the ones feasted on by the Pilgrims, but Louisiana chefs have created more recent holiday traditions, Cajun Fried Turkey and Tur-Duc-Hen. A Tur-Duc-Hen is prepared by boning a turkey, a duck and a chicken, then stuffing the duck in the chicken and the stuffed chicken into the turkey. But that is not all, the three-bird concoction is then stuffed with Louisiana style cornbread dressing, or shrimp and crawfish dressing.
Lots of families have traditional side dishes made from recipes passed down through generations to fill out the main course. Those dishes are always a comforting delight, but there's still plenty of room for hors d'oeuvres and appetizers. An artisanal red spruce cheddar from Wisconsin is a great American classic to serve family and friends. And a platter of crafted cheese can be joined by gourmet treats that folks aren't likely to encounter in their everyday lives. The sweetness of raw comb honey can be a spectacular addition to a cheese platter. For guests that like a garlicky spread, serve an artichoke ambrosia to nibble on while they await the main course. If you want to add a little luxury to your selection of hors d'oeuvres, putting out some paddlefish caviar harvested from the fresh waters of Tennessee is bound to impress.
Then there is dessert to think about. For many it wouldn't be right to let the holidays pass without savoring a slice of pumpkin pie, but a pumpkin cheesecake from a New York family that has been baking gourmet treats for generations can be a nice variation on that venerable favorite. Another fine twist on an old favorite is one of Maine's wild blueberry pies. Unlike the larger cultivated blueberries usually sold in supermarkets, wild blueberries are tiny and really are wild, having crept over Maine's rocky land naturally.
Dessert just wouldn't be complete if fresh-brewed coffee was not on hand. To satisfy the gourmet coffee drinkers at your table pour them a cup of pure kona coffee, cultivated on the slopes of Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa of the Big Island of Hawaii.
Of course, whatever you serve your family and friends this holiday season the best treat of all is just getting the chance to spend some leisurely time with those you love. Their company is a more comforting treat than even the most delicious holiday foods.
American Feast offers some of America's finest specialty foods, and informative and entertaining content. It combines those elements with advocacy for a healthier and more sustainable food system.
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American Feast champions food from sustainable farms over food from factories and slow food over fast food. By working with entrepreneurial families we deliver an imaginative mix of culinary delights from the USA's most creative kitchens and family farms.