What Is Traditional Food?

November 22, 2018

If you think about food for the 4th of July, you probably think of BBQ or corn on the cob. If you think about food for Thanksgiving, you most certainly would think of turkey! But do you know what is considered a traditional side dish to the turkey? The green bean casserole. Sure, turkeys have their own history in the Thanksgiving story, but the green bean casserole has a rather interesting background as well.

Green Bean by lotherington via @Flickr CC BY 2.0

You see, this dish was not considered part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal until 1955. That’s when Dorcas Reilly, an employee of the Campbell Soup Company, came up with the recipe for the green bean casserole, dubbed “the mother of all comfort foods.” Working in the home economics department of the company, she first put together green beans and Campbell Soup Company’s cream of mushroom soup and called it a “green bean cake.” When the company tested it, the reviews were not initially very favorable. But it slowly and steadily made its way to the top of the recipe pile that Campbell Soup marketed as part of its Thanksgiving ads, and sure enough, it is now considered a staple in many a home where a traditional Thanksgiving meal is served!

In 2002, Reilly handed over her recipe to the National Inventors Hall of Fame. Reilly died this week at her home in Camden, New Jersey, at the age of ninety-two.

Has anyone in your family created a recipe that has become a family tradition? Send us the recipe!