Thanksgiving in the Bahamas

Food & Dining
  1. By Gabbi Sawyer

Thanksgiving Day in the Bahamas does not feature quite as much pomp and splendor as is seen in the U. S. A., and it is not a national holiday, but it is recognized and heartily celebrated nation-wide. Its inauguration in the Bahamas is said to have taken place from as early as the 1930’s ( The tradition was initially adapted because of our close proximity to U. S. A., and the desire to cater to the influx American travelers visiting around that time of year.

We as a nation, despite a plethora of trying circumstances, have a lot to be grateful for. It is a day spent reflecting our many blessings and bonding with family, friends and colleagues over a homemade feast.

The food culture here on Thanksgiving Day is comparable to the U.S. A. It often features many of the staple dishes served in America, with the exception of a few that are replaced with local favourites. From brined turkey, to glazed ham, baked macaroni (mac ‘n’ cheese), candied sweet potato (yams), peas ‘n’ rice, coleslaw, seafood stuffing (stuffing/dressing) and pumpkin rolls/pumpkin cheesecake for dessert. You can find a flyer of vendors selling thanksgiving dinners on almost every noticeboard and advertising space available.

There are annual charity drives that take place in honour of Thanksgiving Day to ensure that those in need are also able to celebrate. When I was growing up, I remember taking canned goods to school to place in the donation bin held in each classroom. This is a tradition that still thrives in schools and businesses today. Charitable organizations such as the Salvation Army, Island Luck and various churches also prepare hot meals and donate it to the masses.

Thanksgiving dinner is a BIG deal in these islands.

One thing to take note of, is that there is usually an excess of leftovers. This proves great for sharing and second helpings, but can be quite costly and can sometimes lead to wastage or spoilage. There may even be instances of single households or small families that desire to prepare a thanksgiving meal with all the ‘fixings’, but in smaller portions.

I have curated a simple menu will help you enjoy the best dishes of thanksgiving but also save time in the kitchen and reduce cost and wastage.

Happy Thanksgiving!