BY EDGAR ENRIQUEZ —
Turkey and family gatherings are among the many quintessential aspects of Thanksgiving students have waited for since September, and rather than turkey, pork appears to better rouse the appetite of many students.
It is easy to cook a dry turkey as opposed to the ham that comes out better and juicier, according to Danashia Clay, a senior at William Paterson University.
So too, for William Perkins, 19 and a sophomore, who’s not keen on the traditional staple.
“I’m never big on the turkey,” Perkins said. “My favorite is Mac and Cheese.”
When the turkey is just out of the stove – when it is juicy, and flavorsome with cranberry sauce on top – that’s when Chris Lewis, 23, a senior, enjoys eating the large bird.
However, Lewis prefers a pernil – a Latin American dish consisting of a marinated pork leg or shoulder slowly roasted.
“My uncle’s family, they’re Puerto Rican, they bring over a pernil, and ‘Jesus,’ his mother’s pernil, is just, ‘Oh My God’,” Lewis said. “We also have a broccoli cheese casserole, it looks like a mess but it’s incredible and one of the things I look forward to.”
Turkey is good depending on how it is made, said Christian Garcia, 19, a sophomore, who has a grandmother who makes it well. Although Garcia too prefers his family’s pernil over the turkey.
“It just tastes better,” Garcia said.
Still, the turkey remains prevalent on Thanksgiving and is usually placed at the table alongside pork and beef.
In Korean households, on the other hand, Thanksgiving means a mixture of Korean and American dishes, according to Meesol Noh, 22, a senior.
Thanksgiving is equivalent to the Korean harvest festival – Chuseok – the festival for new harvest, according to Noh.
“If I do eat I have turkey, but I also have Kim-Chi stew along with Bulgogi, which is marinated beef,” Noh said. “Koreans know how to make Thanksgiving food, like they know how to make apple pie, pumpkin pie, turkey and stuffing.
“I kind of come to terms that Thanksgiving is very much like that,” she said. “You get to have the best of both worlds, so I love it.”
Aside from the variety of culinary preferences, many students agree on one thing regarding Thanksgiving – it is about family – each, enjoying their own family traditions.
Traditions in the Dawson family involves watching the football game while Dave Dawson, 25, a junior, pretends to make conversation, “‘like I know something about it’,” he said.
“We all watch the Macy’s parade,” Lewis said. “Everybody wakes up and goes to the living room and watches the parade.”
Noh and her mother go to the sauna and start relaxing.
“Every Thanksgiving since I was 16, my mom and I have been going to the King Sauna in Palisades Park,” Noh said. “I’m hoping to keep that tradition.”