14 Nov 2023

Ways To Make It A Real Maine Thanksgiving

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Cranberries cooking in a saucepan

Thanksgiving – a holiday that brings family and friends together to share each other’s company and, of course, delicious food and drink. There are several ways to add Real Maine ingredients and products to your Thanksgiving to give your holiday some local flavor. Here are some ideas, both traditional and non-traditional:


Turkey in a roasting pan

Having a local turkey as a centerpiece of your Thanksgiving meal supports Maine farms, but also provides you the tastiest and freshest gobbler possible. You can pre-order yours online or by calling, or go to your local specialty store. You can also consider another local meat, like roasting a chicken, or other alternatives.


Thanksgiving side dishes can steal the show (and fill your plate)! Bring locally grown vegetables to the table, such as Real Maine parsnips, carrots, onions, and squash. There are more options than ever to source local produce at the holidays, whether by preordering for pickup at your farmers’ market, choosing a farm delivery option (such as FarmDrop or the Daybreak Growers’ Alliance), or shopping at stores that carry Real Maine products.

close up of roasted sweet potatoes
Bagged Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes

Of course, no Thanksgiving in Maine would be complete without potatoes. It’s easy to find Maine-grown potatoes at farm stands, farmers’ markets, and local groceries. Even large supermarkets typically carry hearty Maine potatoes. Just be sure to check the packaging or signage to learn where the potatoes are from. Russet potatoes and Yukon Golds are both perfect for mashing, and both are grown in Maine.


Cranberries are harvested on Maine farms in the fall and become available in time for the holidays. They are a rugged little berry that stores in the refrigerator, freezes well and are a versatile ingredient. You can pair Real Maine cranberry products in a number of ways with your Thanksgiving celebration.

Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery’s Cranberry Smash fortified wine is made from organic Maine cranberries, along with cranberry brandy. They also offer Blueberry Smash, made from Maine blueberries and blueberry brandy. Both of these wines could be paired with appetizers, meals, or desserts for Thanksgiving.

Maine Homestead Market’s cranberry sauce is made at their Lyman location and is both a traditional, and local, addition to your Thanksgiving meal. Or maybe add some Blue Flame, Boston Red Sauce (a cranberry-based hot sauce), or Crapple (made with cranberry and apple) from Captain Mowatt’s to cranberry sauce for an extra kick.

Cranberry vinegar made by West Maquoit Vinegar Works is a versatile ingredient for Thanksgiving dishes and side dishes. Try their recipes for holiday butter or cranberry and ginger relish.

Cranberry orange is a Thanksgiving favorite among the mixes from The Scone Goddess. Just add cream to the mix, bake, and you have another yummy option.

Real Maine is the state’s official agriculture and agritourism promotions program. From Thanksgiving ingredients to Christmas trees to holiday gifts, plan your Real Maine agricultural experience. Visit www.RealMaine.com to connect to farms, food, and agriculture throughout Maine.