Stuffing strata from Thanksgiving leftovers in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. (Photo By Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Ancient Roman Origins Of Stuffing
Much like roasted turkey and pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving dinner is incomplete without the flavorful stuffing, or dressing, as some call it. Its wildly flavorful profile makes it the nation’s top holiday side dish, according to Campbell’s, and we can thank the ancient Romans for inventing the idea by combining starch and protein.
In the "Apicius de re Coquinaria," an ancient Roman cookbook, many recipes used spelt mixed with spices, vegetables, and herbs to create a filling to stuff inside animals, such as pig, chicken, rabbit, or even dormouse. Later, Romans continued to get more creative by stuffing smaller meats, like chicken, inside of other meats, like pigs.
Eventually, the idea caught the attention of the French, sparking the creation of galantine, notes Slate. Georges Auguste Escoffier ultimately wrote of a turkey with sausage stuffing in "Le Guide Culinaire," forever changing our turkey habits to include the moist and hearty side dish.