Back to all articles

The History of Stuffing

Stuffing dates back to Roman times, when spelt, spices, herbs, and vegetables were mixed together and stuffed into a variety of animals. Stuffing remained popular even after the fall of the Roman empire, and has gone by many names over the years, including: farce (from the 14th century), forcemeat (from the 17th century), and most recently, the 19th century term dressing. When it comes to the first American Thanksgiving meal, we simply don’t know if stuffing was present. Records indicate that there was plenty of turkey and waterfowl on the menu, no mention is made as to whether these birds were stuffed or not. As Thanksgiving meals became more common, stuffing began to play a much more important role at the table. In fact, early 19th century menus list stuffed turkeys and hams as part of the Thanksgiving spread. Today, stuffing continues to play a major role at most Thanksgiving dinners. Popular regional varieties include the spiced bread cubes of New England-style stuffing and the meaty cornbread dressing favored in the South.

Share this article

card showing the history of rocking chairs

Your go-to guide for weird history facts

Subscribe to the FREE daily email that makes learning about history fun.