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10 Weird Ingredients People Put in Thanksgiving Dressing


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Oysters
While oyster stuffing isn't that uncommon, people that don't grow up eating it as part of family feasts are often a little surprised at the idea. © Corbis
While oyster stuffing isn't that uncommon, people that don't grow up eating it as part of family feasts are often a little surprised at the idea. © Corbis

Every Thanksgiving table has its own version of stuffing, and even those serving the same type may differ greatly from family to family -- and such is the case with oyster stuffing. Yes, while you may not immediately think of putting turkey and oysters together on your plate, these little mollusks have been making an appearance at Thanksgiving feasts since the British immigrants who would come to be called Pilgrims celebrated a shipment of provisions with a group of Native Americans in 1621, and no one has agreed on a recipe since [source: Skirbunt].

The basic ingredients for oyster dressing are often similar, though, and include small shucked oysters with their liquor, bread crumbs (or stale bread), celery, onion, butter, egg, parsley, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste [source: Gage]. You may find Parmesan cheese, bell peppers and cayenne in oyster dressing served in the Chesapeake Bay area, whereas in other parts of the country, oyster dressing may include sausage, cornbread, duck fat and bacon. Port wine even makes an appearance from time to time [source: Oyster Company of Virginia, Saveur, Bon Appetit].


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