National Stuffing Day
Stuffing is a dish that’s usually made out of bread crumbs, but can also be made out of rice or even matzo. It’s also a dish that’s usually seen as something to stuff into a turkey on Thanksgiving, and not one that can be enjoyed as a side dish all year round. One holiday aims to shatter that perception about stuffing, however, and that holiday is National Stuffing Day. This is a holiday that falls on November 21st and encourages everyone to view this food as not only something that’s served one day out of the year but as a dish that can be served all year round.
The History Of Stuffing
It’s pretty easy to see that stuffing is probably something that’s been around since mankind began cooking. After all, stuffing is technically anything that’s stuffed into an animal before or after it has been cooked. More than likely, ancient peoples all over the globe had their own variations of stuffing that were placed inside the carcasses of all kinds of different domesticated animals and/or wild game.
By the time the 2nd century B.C rolled around, stuffing as a dish was immortalized in one of the first written cookbooks. This cookbook was titled “Apicius De Re Coquinaria.” Apicius was a chef and in his book were recipes for stuffed pig, rabbit, and chicken. There was even a recipe for stuffing a dormouse. What did he use for stuffing? Well, he used a variety of different ingredients, and one of them was a cereal grain called spelt. He also stuffed animals with veggies, herbs, nuts, and other meats such as liver or brain.
Throughout history, stuffing has had a variety of different names. During the 14th century, it was known as “farce.” During the 16th century, it was called “stuffing,” and during the 17th century, it was known as “forcemeat.” In the U.S., stuffing received the name “dressing” during the mid 19th century.
It also should be mentioned that ancient Roman and Medieval cooks often used elaborate recipes that feature animals stuffed into animals. This method of cooking is known as engastration. Some of the more elaborate recipes included camels stuffed with sheep that have been stuffed with bustards, and ram stuffed with a variety of small birds. For those of you wincing at the concept of those dishes, we’d like to remind you that engastration is still practiced today—particularly with the dishes gooducken and turducken.
Observing National Stuffing Day
National Stuffing Day can be observed by whipping up your favorite type of stuffing and enjoying it for the day. This can be a stuffing that you make from scratch or one of the boxed stuffings that you can find in your local grocery store. After you’ve made your stuffing, don’t forget to take a picture of it and post it on the Internet using the hashtag #NationalStuffingDay. Let the world know that stuffing is no longer just for Thanksgiving anymore.