If you’re from the North, it’s called stuffing. But to you Southerners, it’s dressing. Are these two holiday foods the same thing?
The Short Answer:
Yes, Stuffing and Dressing are the same thing.
The Long Answer:
A quick word to all my fellow Northern natives out there, this is not an article comparing stuffing to salad dressing. Apparently in the South, what we all grew up knowing as stuffing is actually referred to as dressing.
Who knew? Not me.
But a lot of you apparently did, because this is one of the most hotly debated Thanksgiving topics among families that straddle the Mason Dixon Line.
I’ve heard tale that if this dish is cooked inside of a roast or some kind of poultry it’s called stuffing, because it is literally stuffed inside of something. Meanwhile the name dressing would be reserved for the same food but cooked in a tin or pan outside of anything else.
To me, this feels like someone trying to make sense of something nonsensical. People in the South say dressing, people in the North say stuffing. That’s really the tall and short of it. I’ve heard some southerners decry the name stuffing, saying that the word itself is unpleasant. I’ve never had a personal issue with it, but I can see where that point of view comes from. To make this even more confusing, it’s called “filling” in Pennsylvania Dutch County.
This reminds me a lot of the debate that rages over soda and pop. Soft drinks are called different things based on where in the world you are. Up in New England, you’d hear people refer to it as pop. But go a little further South and you’ll hear people calling it soda. (For the record, I’m soda for life.)
Everyone does stuffing differently, and everyone believes that their stuffing is the best. (Mine is!) But while the recipe varies based on who is making it, stuffing is always bread based. Some use plain white bread while others prefer a corn bread stuffing (or dressing). Usually some aromatics and other fillings are added in, along with onions, celery, and some other veggies if that’s what you prefer. The dish is then doused in some kind of broth and stuffed inside the cavity of a turkey or chicken.
Do you call this side dish stuffing or dressing? Do you cook it inside your Thanksgiving turkey, or outside of it? What is the special ingredient that makes your stuffing/dressing/filling the best out there? Sound off below and let us know!