Pulling off Thanksgiving in Rome is an expensive affair. All that crazy American import food is going to cost you! But last year I skipped hosting the holiday and felt incredibly homesick. Thanksgiving homesickness is a thing apart from Christmas homesickness. There is something about missing out on a holiday that’s not acknowledged in your adopted country that feels wrong. So wrong.
But should you want to undertake the challenge of hosting Thanksgiving in Rome, it’s totally doable given enough planning.
Your first task will be finding the turkey. Most butchers can procure one whole so long as you ask about a week in advance. I was *very clear* in explaining that 8 kilos was the MAX my tiny Italian fridge and little Italian oven could handle.
It was still a challenge to get the bird in the mini fridge, but the turkey turned out to be an amazing conversation started. The butcher, the butcher’s wife who runs the cash register, and the other customers were very curious about the bird:
“What are you going to put inside?”
“I thought Thanksgiving was in July…”
“Why does the date change every year?”
“Is it traditional to eat the entire turkey?”
“Yes. It is. I saw it on Friends.”
Good to know that Friends is the reference point for American culture.
You can find essentials like pumpkin filling and cranberry sauce at Castroni, but be willing to shell out the big bucks. I’m actually back in the US and just bought Libby’s for $1.65. In Rome, I paid about $7. Ridiculous.
I LOVE Thanksgiving, but I spent 15+ years as a vegetarian/vegan. I have NO idea how to cook a turkey. Turns out, it ain’t that hard.
The meal kicked off with the best soup of all time, courtesy of E, the mastermind behind the Rome Gelato Tour.
Our whole spread was a group effort and absolutely delicious. (Hint: If you’re looking for sweet potatoes, you can get them at Mercato Esquilino by Piazza Vittorio Emmanule).
I am so lucky to have amazing friends and family, in the US and Italy. The day as passed but I am so thankful for everything I have: an incredible love, a warm home, a cute kitty, a fulfilling job, and the best friends in the world!