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Wednesday, Oct. 4
The Indiana Daily Student


Thanksgiving would be impossible in Italy

My assignment: Host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner in a foreign country.
This task, although it might seem straightforward, is much more difficult than it initially appears.

When attempting to complete this job myself, I concluded there are a handful of reasons why Italians do not celebrate Thanksgiving. 

Besides the obvious fact that Thanksgiving is an American holiday, Italians could not prepare an acceptable Thanksgiving spread even if all they truly desired was a helping of mashed potatoes.

Reason No. 1: Supplies
Italian cooking relies heavily on the availability of fresh, local produce. As a result, importing Thanksgiving necessities like cranberries and sweet potatoes would be considered ridiculous.

Secondly, creating a Thanksgiving staple such as pumpkin pie would be a duty only for the bravest of Italians because it would require one to make the dessert the old-fashioned way – reminiscent of carving and gutting a Halloween pumpkin.

Reason No. 2: Stuffing
Italians are a group of people who know how to keep themselves in good shape.

Walking through the streets of Florence, it would be extremely challenging not only to find an obese Italian, but it would be just as demanding to locate an Italian who was not perfectly fit or rather thin.

Along these lines, they would not understand the American concept of stuffing oneself on this glorious day. 

Americans know how to throw it back. We eat turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, green been casserole and plenty more. And we go back for second and third helpings.

It is also common to take a short break from the eating to digest, nap and watch football and then return for desserts galore.

I think I am putting it kindly when I say that many Italians would say we are gluttonous.

Reason No. 3: Schedule
The Italian eating style is bit off compared to the American way. Their breakfast seems to deliberately spite the age-old saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” – it consists of a mere coffee and piece of toast.

Another drastic difference is the time for dinner. Forget 5:30 or even 6 p.m. Italians start to eat dinner, as many Europeans do, when our late night television programming begins.

In my family, we start eating the Thanksgiving dinner around 4 p.m.; it’s earlier than usual to allow for colossal amounts to be eaten and digested without having to rush.

The radical idea of eating a grand meal at a ridiculous time of day would simply not fly with the Italian lifestyle.

But at the end of they day, when several Americans in Italy get together, a somewhat respectable Thanksgiving meal can come together.

God bless the American way because I simply could not live without Thanksgiving Day ending with a chorus of popping pants buttons.

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