What does Thanksgiving make you think of? An enormous steaming turkey straight from the oven? Family and friends gathered around a long table beautifully decorated for the occasion, with glasses clinking in cheers?
With many Americans either visiting or calling Mallorca their home, it’s natural that the most important national holiday in their calendar be honoured with a smattering of events around the island on November 24th. Ironically, celebrating this seemingly far-removed date in Spain may be more fitting than it seems.
Popular history tells us that English pilgrims landed in America started the tradition, but we now have research that suggests it was, in fact, Spanish sailors who first sat down to feast in celebration. Investigation by Florida’s Museum of Natural History presents evidence that the very first Thanksgiving took place in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565, at the behest of a Spanish explorer, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, and his adventurous band of followers.
The modern-day Thanksgiving meal is quite different to that first dinner, which is likely to have featured salted pork, olives and chickpeas in place of the roasted turkey and trimmings. So grateful was he to arrive at the ‘New World’ back in the 16th century, captain Menéndez gave thanks in the form of a feast for his sailors and crew. Far from being a purely British colony, ‘the first colony was a melting pot‘ says Gifford Waters, who led research at Florida’s Museum of Natural History; a parallel that extends to the modern-day island of Mallorca, and the typically mixed ensemble of diners who attend its special Thanksgiving events.
The 21st-century version is a typically indulgent affair, and every year at Thanksgiving time on Mallorca, private chef Ross Hutchison gives guests a sublime taste of just how far Americans traditionally go to make this day special.
If you’d like to receive an invite to this annual pop-up event from Hutchison, the American kitchen maestro at the helm of island-based firm Private Chef Mallorca, and his talented wife Joanna Cybulski, simply sign up to receive Private Chef Mallorca’s regular newsletter, and you too could find yourself on the list for one of these multicultural events in the future….
See privatechefmallorca.com for details.
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