For the majority of Americans, Thanksgiving is the kind of holiday that must be celebrated no matter what. This special day (and the food involved) marks the beginning of the holiday season and happy, relaxing times with family. The origins of American Thanksgiving date back to the 17th century, when the first Pilgrims celebrated the harvest through religious rituals and feasting. Many traditions, such as cooking a giant stuffed turkey and family reunions, have remained unchanged, but other elements of the holiday have evolved to embrace a more modern approach to the celebration such as the Macy’s parade in NYC, the discount shopping events, and the football matches.


Ideas-for-Your-Thanksgiving-TablePhoto Credit: Rare Delights


This is why Americans residing in other parts of the world sometimes have an hard time reproducing the traditions they grow up with in the new countries they have decided to settle in. The biggest issue is that Thanksgiving happens on Thursday, so it is impossible to take a day off work if you are not in the United States. However, this holiday is so shareable and cross cultural that it is easy for Americans to reproduce some sort of family environment in foreign countries. Moreover, many European cities organize special Thanksgiving events to help their American friends feel at home, even on the other side of the pond. Let’s take a look at some of the most important ones.

Thanksgiving in Paris

Residents of France can prepare a traditional turkey dinner with the help of American specialty groceries shops like The Real McCoy, which offers a huge selection of products such as cranberry sauce, Pepperidge farm stuffing mix, and marshmallows to bake on top of sweet potatoes. In case a home cooked meal is not the first choice, many hotel chains such as Westin Hotels and the Marriot usually host a Thanksgiving dinner. Le Bistrot Saint Martin in Rue Louis Blanc also offers a special menu during the last weekend of November, and so does the Harry’s Bar near the Opèra.


Paris_thanksgivingPhoto Credit: Go Today


Thanksgiving in London

With a huge number of expats living in London, it comes as no surprise that many restaurants in the city choose to celebrate the greatest culinary event of the United States. The most famous one is probably Balthazar, a New York born restaurant that will make you feel like you have never left the United States. This year’s set menu includes a gingerbread-spiced cocktail, followed by three courses: the traditional roast turkey with orange and chestnut stuffing, corn fritters, and pumpkin pie as dessert. Many other restaurants such as Bea’s of Bloomsbury and Big Easy Covent Garden offer similar menus.


Photo Credit: Culinary Stew


Thanksgiving in Rome

Getting into the Thanksgiving spirit in Rome is not the easiest task, as it requires a little bit of planning to find the ingredients in case you want the traditional home cooked meal. If you would rather that someone else does the cooking, then you have several quality options such as Vivi Bistrot, located on the edge the Villa Pamphili park. This restaurant offers a Thanksgiving dinner buffet with an Italian twist, and the menu includes turkey cooked with chestnuts and sausage. Other places worth trying during the Thanksgiving weekend are Mama’ Ristobistrot and the American International Club of Rome.


rome-autumn-main_2659019kPhoto Credit: The Telegraph

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