National Stuffing Day

Stuffing is a dish usually made out of bread crumbs but can also be made from rice or even matzo. It’s often seen as something to stuff into a turkey on Thanksgiving, rather than a side dish to be enjoyed all year round.

One holiday aims to change that perception of stuffing, and that holiday is National Stuffing Day. This holiday falls on November 21st and encourages everyone to view this food not only as something served one day of the year but as a dish that can be served throughout the year.

The History Of Stuffing

It’s easy to see that stuffing has probably been around since mankind began cooking. After all, stuffing is technically anything stuffed into an animal before or after it has been cooked. Ancient peoples across the globe likely had their own variations of stuffing placed inside the carcasses of various 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, titled “Apicius De Re Coquinaria.” Apicius was a chef, and his book included recipes for stuffed pig, rabbit, and chicken.

There was even a recipe for stuffing a dormouse. What did he use for stuffing? He used a variety of ingredients, including a cereal grain called spelt, as well as vegetables, herbs, nuts, and other meats such as liver or brain.

Throughout history, stuffing has had various names. In the 14th century, it was known as “farce.” In the 16th century, it was called “stuffing,” and in the 17th century, it was known as “forcemeat.” In the U.S., stuffing received the name “dressing” during the mid-19th century. It should also be mentioned that ancient Roman and Medieval cooks often used elaborate recipes featuring animals stuffed into other animals.

This method of cooking is known as engastration. Some of the more elaborate recipes included camels stuffed with sheep that had been stuffed with bustards and rams stuffed with a variety of small birds. For those wincing at the concept of these dishes, it’s worth noting that engastration is still practiced today—particularly with dishes like 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 you make from scratch or one of the boxed stuffings found 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 isn’t just for Thanksgiving anymore.

When is it?
This year (2024)
November 21 Thursday
Next year (2025)
November 21 Friday
Last year (2023)
November 21 Tuesday
Food & Drinks