I Bet You Can’t Look at This “Popular” Thanksgiving Sides Map Without Getting Angry

updated Feb 24, 2021
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

Nothing steams up Twitter like geographic divisions over holiday foods, whether it’s the most Googled Thanksgiving recipe, pie recipe, or holiday cookies. But this year the fun started early when chef Graham Eliot tweeted out a map of the most popular Thanksgiving sides by state, asking “Do you agree?” to his 118,000-plus followers.

The answer, as you might guess, was that his followers did not agree with the map — whether for their own state or for anybody else’s. Some people were shocked by the mac and cheese belt running from Delaware down the Eastern Seaboard to Georgia. Other people cast a great deal of suspicion on Maine for its choice of a “side salad.” The country shows a divide along stuffing vs. dressing lines, with Alabama choosing dressing and Louisiana specifying cornbread dressing, while the stuffing alliance dominates the northeast, with Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Few people seem surprised at Iowa’s choice of corn and many people feel that Indiana’s outlier of deviled eggs was a strong choice. Green bean casserole comes in for a lot of hate on the internet, but it got seven votes, with a wide distribution among inland states: Apparently the coasts don’t casserole, with the exception of Florida, which (like Tennessee) prefers a sweet potato version. Meanwhile, Kentucky goes for broccoli in their casserole (???) while Alaska — ever eating to the beat of its own drum — goes big on hash brown casserole.

The map wasn’t made up by the chef, though. A reverse image search shows that it originally came from a career advice site called Zippia, giving it a slightly surprising source, but they used Google search data, so presumably it’s pretty solid. In fact, the side dish that most states like best is mashed potatoes.