In England, long ago, there were people called Pilgrims who were very
strict about making sure everyone observed the Sabbath and cooked food
without any flavor and that sort of thing, and they decided to go to
America, where they could enjoy Freedom to Nag. The other people in
England said, "Glad to see the back of them." In America, the Pilgrims
tried farming, but they couldn't get much done because they were
always putting their best farmers in the stocks for crimes like
"Suspicion of Cheerfulness." The Indians took pity on the Pilgrims and
helped them with their farming, even though the Indians thought the
Pilgrims were about as much fun as teenage circumcision. The Pilgrims
were so grateful that at the end of their first year they invited the
Indians over for a Thanksgiving meal. The Indians, having had some
experience with Pilgrim cuisine during the year, took the precaution of
taking along one dish of their own. They brought a dish that their
ancestors had learned many generations before from none other than
Christopher Columbus, who was known to the Indians as "that big Italian
fellow." The dish was spaghetti carbonara--made with pancetta bacon
and fontina and the best imported prosciutto. The Pilgrims hated it.
They said it was "heretically tasty" and "the work of the devil" and
"the sort of thing foreigners eat." The Indians were so disgusted that
on the way back to their village after dinner one of them made a
remark about the Pilgrims that was repeated down through the years and
unfortunately caused confusion among historians about the first
Thanksgiving meal. He said, "What a bunch of turkeys!"
--Calvin Trillin, "The Tummy Trilogy"
Happy T-day, all you tasty heretics.