This Year's Hot Thanksgiving Trends: Fennel, Cake, and Lemon

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Courtesy of The Bitten Word

With virtually every major food publication (including SAVEUR) creating original recipes for Thanksgiving, there's a lot to consider as we launch into November menu planning. Wondering what's popular this year? Food magazine watchdog blog The Bitten Word compiled an index of the ten most popular food magazines' 2010 Thanksgiving recipes — a grand total of 175 creations!

It's a pretty handy menu-planning tool, but it's maybe even more fascinating as a window into holiday menu trends. By converting every prominent ingredient from all 175 recipes into a cloud graph, The Bitten Word came up with two ways to show this year's Thanksgiving recipe trends visually. The first graphic uses all the words from all the recipes. It's no big surprise to see "turkey" as the most popular term, but "gravy" was less popular than we would have guessed. The second graphic omits all the usual suspects (no "turkey," no "stuffing," no "potatoes," etc.), revealing some intriguing trends. Notice how huge fennel is this year? Lemon is another surprisingly large player, and cake is also more prominent than expected, considering the season's historically pie-dominant dessert tendencies. Not that we're complaining: we've got a great spiced pumpkin cake in our own Thanksgiving issue this year._
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