Please Pass the Garbanzo Beans

November 24, 2010

Tomorrow we here in the United States will be celebrating a traditional Thanksgiving with a meal that most likely includes turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing and other side dishes each family considers necessary for the feast. A far cry from the first Thanksgiving, which featured cocido, a stew made with salt pork, garbanzo beans seasoned with garlic.

Say what?!

According to current historical research, 56 years before the “first Thanksgiving” in Plymouth, Spanish Admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles and a company of 500 soldiers, 200 sailors, 100 farmers and craftsmen (and some wives and children) landed at what is now St. Augustine, FL on September 8, 1565. To celebrate the expedition’s safe arrival, the Spanish and natives of the area took part in a Mass of thanksgiving followed by a meal. In addition to the stew, hard sea biscuits and red wine from the ships’ stores probably rounded out the meal. If the natives contributed food, it may have been deer, gopher tortoise, fish, maize, beans, squash, nuts or fruits, food items common to their diet. According to historian Michael Gannon, “These stand as the first documented thanksgiving events in a permanent settlement anywhere in North America north of Mexico.” (To read more about the real first Thanksgiving meal, click here.)

Site of the first Thanksgiving?

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. I'll have a helping of some of those beans, thank you!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, KJ!

  2. Same to you, Laure! The article that is linked in the post actually has a recipe for Spanish bean soup that sounds yummy. Perhaps we should start a new Florida Thanksgiving tradition?

  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Kathy! Hope it is lovely for you and yours. :)

    My mother, newly retired and with way too much time on her hands, has decided to forgo many of our traditional sides this year in favor of "fun experiments." Each family member got to put his/her foot down and demand the retention of a single dish; I chose green been casserole, and I am hoping to learn my sister kept hold of the stuffing and my dad the cranberry sauce. I'm such a traditionalist the whole idea makes me grumpy -- but crossing my fingers I'll at least enjoy the new additions. I won't be mentioning this one to her until after we eat. ;) Don't want to give her anymore ideas!

  4. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, Meredith. Hope the "fun experiments" turn out to be enhancements of the family meal! Frankly, may favorite part of the traditional meal is the the side dishes, so I'd be perturbed by the loss of them as well.

  5. The cocido sounds a little like Pozole--yum! Maybe not traditional Thanksgiving fare, however! Love the photo! Have a great holiday!

  6. Thanks, Danielle--coincidentally, I came across a recipe for pozole yesterday, and it sounds delicious. May have to try it. Hope you had a great holiday with lots of reading!

  7. How interesting! I always have my brain tweaked when I visit your blog, Kathy, thanks. Hope your Thanksgiving was good! We opted for tradition, but maybe next year... ;)

  8. It was a nice day, thanks Elizabeth. Hope yours was nice as well. We went "traditional," too, but I might try a recipe like the cocido for a regular weeknight dinner. It sounds tasty.