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4 Things That Make Canadian Thanksgiving Not Like Ours!

Both American and Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations include time spent with family and friends, football and large quantities of food, but while the dishes are familiar -- turkey, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie -- they taste different over the border.

Photography by: linda xiao

Thanksgiving may be one of the best things about late fall and we're not the only ones that take time to say thanks while feasting at this time of year. Canadians do Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October, and their celebration is actually older than ours. Canadian Thanksgiving dates back to 1578 when an arctic explorer and his crew gave thanks for safe travels. Today, our two Thanksgivings happen in different months but are pretty similar when it comes to the menu. There are differences though, here are four things that make a Canadian Thanksgiving unique.


Spiced Pumpkin Pie

We like our pumpkin pie sweet and topped with globs of whip cream, no judgement here. Canadians, however opt for a spiced pumpkin pie with more ginger, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon that give the pie an earthier, zestful taste.

Get our Classic Thanksgiving Pie Recipes

Sweet Potatoes

Forget the casserole dish and the marshmallow toppings: In Canada, sweet potatoes are either baked or whipped into a creamy, smooth puree using buttermilk and dijon. For a sweeter version of this Canadian favorite, skip the dijon and buttermilk and opt for molasses, brown sugar, and orange juice or the simplest and most elemental version with just maple syrup and butter.

Get our Thanksgiving Potato and Sweet Potato Recipes


Despite the bacon cravings that cause us to use the cured meat in everything from breakfast sandwiches to cocktails in recent years we Americans don't tend to use much bacon on Thanksgiving. Canadians, however, will add Canadian bacon to casseroles to give dishes such as stuffing and gratins extra flavor.

Get our Stuffing and Dressing Recipes

Not all About Pie

Pie isn't as much of a must on Canadian Thanksgiving menus, but we can all agree that no meal is complete without dessert. Non-pie desserts are often cakes such as maple walnut layer and doughnuts might also pop up on a few menus, thanks to the country's obsession with them.

Get our Favorite Fall Cake Recipes