Stuck with picky eaters complaining about dried turkey or canned cranberry sauce? We've made a list to inspire some real giving thanks on turkey day.
From toe jam cheese to in-vitro meat fruit, we've found five foods that will make even the most persnickety eaters thankful for the same Thanksgiving recipes that have been passed on for generations.
Even if the potatoes are burned, at least there are no algae burgers at the table.
Toe Jam Cheese
One reason to be thankful for old-fashioned Thanksgiving recipes that haven't changed in generations: no cheese made from toe jam.
It turns out that incredibly smart scientists have found a new and slightly disturbing way to make cheese by using human microbes.
Scientist Christina Agapakis and scent specialist Sissel Tolaas created a series of cheeses for the Self Made exhibit at the Science Gallery in Dublin.
The different cheeses were created by isolating different human microbes that were then used to create different odors in the cheese.
"Many of the slinkiest cheeses are hosts to species of bacteria closely related to the bacteria responsible for the characteristic smells of human armpits or feet," Agapakis and Tolaas said in their artists statement." Can knowledge and tolerance of bacterial cultures in our food improve tolerance of the bacteria on our bodies?"
It might be a provocative question, but it's also one that makes us happy for Thanksgiving traditions that involve fewer human microbes.
Watch the Game, Snack on some Larvets
Instead of snacking on pretzels while watching Thanksgiving football, a more adventurous eater (or one who complains about said pretzels) can always try some Larvets.
The snack is simply edible larvae. Individually packaged for easy consumption, the "original worm snack" comes in barbecue, cheddar cheese or Mexican spice flavors.
For the kids (or adults) not interested in turkey, Larvets can be used as a handy alternative protein.
But the larvae are a pretty popular snack in other countries, and there's always a chance they will win over even the pickiest of eaters. Maybe it'll be roast Larvets for dinner next Thanksgiving?
Beware the Meat 'Fruit'
If you've got someone complaining that the turkey is too dry, tough or burned, you can tell them to just imagine a world with no turkey at all.
Instead, the Thanksgiving of the future could be a scary place filled with the lab-grown meat "fruit." In the "Meat the Future" cookbook, scientists behind the lab-grown "in-vitro" meat envision all the different ways synthetic meat, which is derived from cow cells, could be used.
While some, such as knit meat or meat paint, are kind of charmingly creative, other ideas such meat "fruit" make us worried we're headed to a "Soylent Green."
In theory, the meat would be grown into fruit-like structures resulting in "La Pâte, a sweet-savory amuse-bouche ideal for Michelin-starred restaurants."
The result may sound delicious on paper, but we're still a little frightened.
A Banana (Peel) Sandwich
If anyone gets bored with a week of turkey sandwiches made from delicious Thanksgiving leftovers, you can always offer her a banana peel sandwich.
According to the BBC, the banana peel sandwich has become popular throughout Sudan.
Called the One Gigabyte Sandwich, after the cheapest Internet plan, the unusual sandwich was created after other common ingredients, such as falafel, rose in price and sandwich makers had to get creative with their menus.
There's always a chance this sandwich could be delicious (and nutritious), but this story makes us very thankful for all of our sandwich-filling options.
Don't Want to Eat Your Greens? Try Algae
If you've got to force someone at the table to taste their Brussels sprouts, you could always threaten to serve a side of algae next year.
According to Warren Belasco, a food historian, for a brief time after World War II fast-growing algae was considered a protein substitute for the world's growing population. As a result, all kinds of algae food concoctions were debated, such as algae burgers.
Thankfully, scientists quickly figured out this was not actually a feasible option, and we were saved from algae-value meals at your local burger joint or a side dish of mashed algae on Thanksgiving.
But still, a threat of algae at the table might make anyone a fan of Brussels sprouts for at least one meal.
- Food & Cooking