Despite what has been endlessly repeated in children’s books and even some history textbooks, popcorn was not served at the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621. The legend to that effect began in the 1880s, with no historical evidence to back it up.
Don’t feel bad for those first Thanksgiving celebrants, however. Their meal was no meager trifle, by any means. Had you been able to sit down with them, you, too, could have enjoyed their feast of lobster, rabbit, chicken, fish, squashes, beans, chestnuts, hickory nuts, onions, leeks, dried fruits, maple syrup, honey, radishes, cabbage, carrots, eggs, and goat cheese. Also on the table was popcorn, although it was cold and unbuttered.
While we’re on the subject, they did not eat that meal with forks. Instead, they used spoons, knives, and, of course, their fingers.