Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming!
And we're ready. We've scoured the magazines, tested recipes, and we're eager talk turkey, recommend dishes, and answer any Thanksgiving-related questions you might have.
We're kicking off our Thanksgiving coverage by looking at the trends in this year's crop of magazines. As in previous years, we've indexed every single one of the November Thanksgiving recipes from the magazines in our rotation. We'll share that list with you on Monday. There are some really exciting (and bizarre) dishes among the more than 250 recipes.
But today we're going to talk about trends.
As we pored through this year's Thanksgiving features, some clear trends emerged. To illustrate many of the trends in this year's T-Day recipes, we created word clouds, like the one above, which illustrate how frequently certain words popped up. You can click on all the word clouds to enlarge them, so you can take a closer look.
What's the general theme for this year? Well, for a lot of our magazines, the theme seemed to be, "Thanksgiving 2011: We're Just Not That Into You." Food & Wine and Saveur seem rather light on their coverage. Even Martha Stewart Living, which we would sort of hold up as the grande dame of Thanksgiving entertaining, seemed scaled back. (We hasten to add that we're not saying that's a bad thing -- Lord knows there are plenty of great autumn recipes out there that don't involve sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce.)
But there was one magazine that blew us away this year. You guys know we tend not to single out particular magazines or issues as favorites, but this must be said: Bon Appétit BROUGHT IT this Thanksgiving. Buh-ROUGHT. IT. From its "Feast from the East" feature, which showcased marvelous ideas for an Asian-inspired Thanksgiving, to the "Down South" feature on a Louisiana Cajun Thanksgiving feast, we were enthralled. Four turkeys, a host of awesome side dishes, and drool-worthy desserts (we need that Grape-and-Apple Pie) -- the November 2011 Bon Appétit is a pleasure. Even if you're set on your Thanksgiving menu, consider picking up a copy just for fun.
As you can see from the word cloud above, the usual suspects are, well, the usual suspects. So here's a word cloud showing all the recipe words, minus "turkey," "gravy," "cranberry," "stuffing," "potatoes," "dressing" and "roasted" (a.k.a. the saddest Thanksgiving ever):