The original Thanksgiving dinner features local vegetables along with lobster from the nearby Atlantic Ocean. In San Francisco many people serve Dungeness crab, just hitting peak season around now, on their traditional Thanksgiving table.

There are many different ethnic groups crammed into our relatively tiny state, and many from these groups attempt to embrace Americana while holding on to their culinary roots. A perfect example is the Italian-American community, which is the largest ethnic group in the Garden State.

Growing up second generation American, my parents totally bought into American pride, but mom made Italian food, Period. That's what she knew. That was what she was good at. That's what we wanted to eat. So the typical 'Italian' Thanksgiving dinner went like this:

Course 1: Antipasto (Italian cold-cuts, cheeses, marinated veggies, olives)
Course 2: Escarole Soup (Italian Wedding Soup)-we never call it that, btw.
Course 3: Lasagna
Course 4: Cooked vegetables (either broccoli or yams)
Course 5: Turkey (I mean the smallest turkey you could find-we were stuffed by then!)

Many other ethnicities added their own twist on the Thanksgiving meal, and it's all good. The important thing is to enjoy good food with family and friends and appreciate how lucky we all are to be in the greatest country on the planet! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and God Bless America!

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Dennis & Judi are on the air weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tweet them @DennisandJudi or @NJ1015.

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