Turkey or ham? An investigation settles the great Thanksgiving debates

The poll found that the majority of Canadians (75%) celebrate Thanksgiving, which falls on Monday, October 10 this year.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to sit down with the family and gorge on sleeping turkey.

But do you prefer white or dark meat?

Some may even prefer ham over turkey. Do you like your mashed potatoes smooth or lumpy?

These are the great Thanksgiving debates that a new Maru public opinion poll has sought to settle.

The poll found that the majority of Canadians (75%) celebrate Thanksgiving, which falls on Monday, October 10 this year.

Ontarians are the most likely to celebrate (88%) while Quebecers are the least likely (40%).

Turkey was a big hit when it came to the favorite main dish, with 58% of people choosing it over ham, which received just 3% of the vote.

A vegetarian Thanksgiving? Not very popular, with only 2% saying they prefer a meatless feast.

White turkey meat (60%) prevailed over dark meat (40%). And for those with a sweet tooth, butter tarts with raisins (59%) were more popular than without raisins (41%).

Smooth mashed potatoes (84%) also beat out lumpy mashed potatoes (16%).

Regional differences in taste (Source: Maru)

  • Atlantic Canadians (54%) and those living in Alberta (51%) are the most likely to prefer cranberry jelly, while all other regions have a majority who prefer cranberry sauce.
  • Those living in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (69%) are more likely to prefer butter tarts with raisins over without
  • Residents of British Columbia (55%) are the only majority among provinces and regions to prefer a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce over a turkey sandwich without sauce
  • Ontarians (19%) most prefer lumpy potatoes over smooth mashed potatoes
  • Albertans (52%) are the only majority nationwide to choose dark meat over white turkey
  • Residents of Quebec (76%) and Atlantic Canada (71%) are the Canadians most likely to prefer Thanksgiving dishes mixed together on the plate rather than eaten separately.
  • Those residing in Quebec (45%) and the Atlantic provinces (42%) are the most likely to use the term “dress” rather than “stuff”
  • Those living in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (37%) and Atlantic Canada (37%) most likely to prefer Thanksgiving leftovers over Thanksgiving meal
  • People in Atlantic Canada (70%) and British Columbia (64%) are the most likely to choose turkey as their Thanksgiving meal of choice, while those in Quebec (7%) are the most likely to choose ham.
  • In all provinces and regions of Canada, sausage stuffing/dressing is preferable to nut stuffing
  • Canadians are also united across the country over the combo of butter pies with raisins.
  • Canadians prefer to mix Thanksgiving dishes on the plate rather than eat them separately.

Methodology: The survey was conducted between September 15 and 16, 2022 with a random selection of 1,518 Canadian adults. It has an estimated margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

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