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Thanksgiving Turmoil: Turkey Rules the Table, Yet AP-NORC Poll Unveils Discord on Holiday Classics

"Thanksgiving Tastes: Turkey Reigns Supreme, Yet a Culinary Divide Emerges in the AP-NORC Poll"

Text: As Thanksgiving approaches, the nation stands united in celebration, yet a culinary schism divides the feast. While the majority finds common ground in the delectable allure of pumpkin pie, the eternal debate over dark versus white turkey meat and the contentious issue of marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes threaten to disrupt the harmony of the holiday table.

According to a recent poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, 32% of U.S. adults planning to partake in Thanksgiving festivities declare turkey as their ultimate favorite dish. Stuffing or dressing follows closely behind at 19%, with mashed potatoes claiming the third spot at 6%. "Thanksgiving — it's about turkey," asserts 71-year-old Ralph Caya from Pensacola, Florida, emphasizing the centrality of the iconic bird.

However, not everyone echoes Caya's sentiment. Meet Vaidehi Upadhyaya, a 27-year-old pharmacist from Glen Rock, New Jersey, and a lifelong vegetarian. For her, the true stars of the holiday spread are the side dishes. The generational gap becomes apparent, with Americans aged 45 and above overwhelmingly declaring turkey as the undisputed highlight (39%), while only 24% of younger adults share the sentiment.

Once the turkey is carved, the age-old debate between white and dark meat ensues. A substantial 43% of celebrators prefer the succulence of white meat, while 28% lean towards the richness of dark meat, leaving 21% impartial. The preference for dark meat is more pronounced among those aged 45 and above (31%), contrasting with the 24% of younger adults who favor it. Astonishingly, 1 in 10 adults under 45 admits to not liking turkey at all.

Carlos Stallworth, a 58-year-old from Los Angeles, champions the cause of white meat, citing its superiority for leftovers and sandwich creations. His sentiments echo the culinary foresight that transcends the Thanksgiving feast into subsequent days.

Yet, amid the sea of savory delights, a divisive element emerges — cranberries. Approximately 2 in 10 celebrators express indifference, asserting that cranberries or cranberry sauce would not be missed. Despite KRC Research reporting the consumption of a staggering 80 million pounds of cranberries during Thanksgiving week, opinions on their necessity vary. For Ralph Caya, they are "important," adding a crucial clash of flavors. Vaidehi Upadhyaya remains "pretty indifferent," consuming them if available but finding them far from exciting. In contrast, Carlos Stallworth, drawing on his culinary expertise, deems cranberries a "must" for the perfect balance of salty and gamy flavors on the festive table.

As the nation prepares to gather around the Thanksgiving table, these culinary disagreements underscore the diverse tastes that make the holiday uniquely American.

"Thanksgiving Tastes: The Great Cranberry Divide, Pie Preferences, and the Culinary Role Reversal"

Text: As Thanksgiving approaches, the age-old debate over cranberry sauce takes center stage, revealing a divided nation. A substantial 24% swear by the convenience of canned sauce, while 22% advocate for the authenticity of homemade. Surprisingly, a notable 35% shun cranberry sauce altogether, with a clear generational trend showing those under 45 more likely to harbor disdain for the tart condiment.

The dessert dilemma unfolds as the poll unveils pumpkin pie as the undisputed crowd-pleaser, securing the top spot with one-third of celebrants declaring it their preferred sweet ending. Pecan pie claims a respectable 17%, while apple pie and sweet potato pie follow closely at 15% and 12%, respectively. Chocolate and berry pies languish in the single digits. For Ralph Caya in Florida, regional loyalty takes precedence as he bypasses the pumpkin in favor of the pecan, honoring the proximity to Georgia's culinary influence.

A Thanksgiving battleground emerges over sweet potatoes, specifically regarding the contentious issue of marshmallows. A significant 32% rally against the sugary topping, advocating for a marshmallow-free experience, while 26% champion their addition. Meanwhile, 25% express a dislike for sweet potato dishes altogether, and 16% remain indifferent. Regional nuances come to light, with Northeasterners (42%) more likely than their Midwestern (29%) or Southern (29%) counterparts to reject the marshmallow addition. Vaidehi Upadhyaya, having experienced sweet potatoes both ways, dismisses the debate, stating, “It really doesn’t affect the taste that much because the dish is already sweet enough without the marshmallows. It’s good both ways.”

In the quest for the perfect Thanksgiving meal, some emphasize the personal touch, as Lauren Feldman of Indianapolis attests. For her, the homemade touch of her mom's cooking, including turkey, sides, and from-scratch cranberry sauce, elevates the dining experience. Feldman notes, “I think if those things were store-bought, I probably wouldn’t like them as much.”

As households prepare for the Thanksgiving feast, a noteworthy culinary role reversal is observed. Women, at 34%, are more likely than men (19%) to take charge of all or most of the cooking. Nearly half of men (46%) confess to playing a minimal role, leaving the culinary responsibilities primarily to the women in the celebration. In the intricate dance of Thanksgiving preparations, it seems the kitchen holds a significant place for many, whether in the form of familial traditions or the ongoing debate over cranberry sauce and marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes.

"Insights into Thanksgiving Tastes: Unveiling a Nation's Palate"

Text: Delving into the nuanced flavors that define Thanksgiving preferences, a recent poll conducted from November 2 to November 6, 2023, offers a captivating glimpse into the culinary choices of 1,239 adults. The survey, utilizing a sample from NORC's meticulously crafted AmeriSpeak Panel, adheres to a probability-based approach, ensuring its capacity to authentically reflect the diverse tapestry of the U.S. population.

The precision of the findings is underscored by a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points, a testament to the methodology's commitment to accuracy. In a nation known for its varied tastes and traditions, this poll not only captures the essence of Thanksgiving preferences but also provides a valuable snapshot of the collective palate that defines this cherished holiday.

For those intrigued by the dynamic landscape of Thanksgiving tastes and curious to explore the diverse opinions that shape our holiday tables, this survey offers a rich source of insight. For more updates and discussions on the findings, follow Mark Kennedy at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits, as he navigates the flavorful journey of Thanksgiving preferences across the nation.

In conclusion, the recently conducted poll, a meticulous exploration of Thanksgiving tastes among 1,239 adults from November 2 to November 6, 2023, sheds light on the intricate nuances that flavor our nation's holiday celebrations. Utilizing NORC's AmeriSpeak Panel with a probability-based design, the survey becomes a reliable mirror reflecting the diverse culinary preferences of the U.S. population.

With a margin of sampling error standing at plus or minus 3.9 percentage points, the findings emerge as a precise and insightful lens into the collective palate that defines Thanksgiving feasts. As we navigate the intricate tapestry of preferences, from the cranberry sauce debate to the perennial question of dark versus white turkey meat, this survey captures the essence of what makes Thanksgiving a uniquely American culinary experience.

For those eager to delve into the details and explore the rich tapestry of Thanksgiving tastes, this poll provides a valuable resource. Stay updated on the ongoing discussions and evolving insights by following Mark Kennedy at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits. As we prepare to gather around our Thanksgiving tables, these findings serve as a reminder of the diverse and ever-evolving nature of our holiday traditions.