Take a moment and picture the perfect plate of food on Thanksgiving. What does that look like? Your plate will surely include some meat, a couple of side dishes, and if your plate is big enough, a dessert or two. So, which of those things are you going with? Keep your plate in mind – we’ll come back to that in a little bit.

When it comes to Thanksgiving food, tastes and preferences vary from state to state and region to region. Have you ever wondered what the rest of Indiana likes to eat on turkey day? Well, someone with more spare time than us took an analytical approach to answer that question. The folks at Shane Co. looked at Google Trends search data to determine the most popular Thanksgiving foods for each state. You might be surprised by the results – I sure was.

Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

Keep reading to see what the ideal Indiana Thanksgiving plate would look like, but first, let’s look at the rest of the country.

You would probably assume that an overwhelming majority of the country prefers turkey as the main meat, right? That’s not the case, though. According to the data, 23 states choose turkey over other meats (Indiana is NOT one of those states) – that leaves 27 states that chose a different meat. How about dessert? Everybody loves pumpkin pie the most, right? Not so much. Pumpkin pie is the first choice for just 16 states and Indiana is NOT one of them.

Thanksgiving dessert
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

What Hoosiers Prefer on Thanksgiving

According to this study, here is what a Thanksgiving plate “should” look like in Indiana…

  • Meat: Ham
  • Side Dish #1: Sweet potato casserole
  • Side Dish #2: Corn
  • Side Dish #3: Carrots (What? No mashed potatoes?)
  • Dessert: Pudding

So, how does that compare to your perfect plate?

What Are Illinois & Kentucky Eating?

What about the rest of the Tri-State? An Illinois Thanksgiving plate will include lamb (so fancy), Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, salad, and pumpkin pie. In the Bluegrass state, Kentuckians load up their plates with ham, mixed vegetables, broccoli, broccoli casserole, and pudding.

There is a lot more information in this study; you can see it all here.

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