Ohioans Are Just Nutty for Green Beans at Thanksgiving, Apparently

Thanksgiving means beans for Ohio - Photo by Jed Owen
Photo by Jed Owen
Thanksgiving means beans for Ohio
Thanksgiving is fast-approaching and while turkey may be the centerpiece of the dinner table, side dishes play an important supporting role.

With a little more than a week left to plan the menu, many are taking to Google to find the best recipes for everything from casseroles and mashed potatoes to pies.

And in Ohio, one dish is turning out to be the most popular, or at least the most-searched, according to career-search website Zippia.

Zippia analyzed Google searches from November 2020 in order to decipher what states favored which sides. Ohio's top-searched side was green beans, a favorite in Iowa and Indiana as well. (Last year, Zippia had "green bean casserole" as Ohio's top Thanksgiving side search.)

The most states — nine — were Googling how to make mashed potatoes, with rolls coming in second.

Rhode Island is an outlier, with glazed carrots as their top search. Other unique results include Montana, where turkey gravy is the most popular; North Dakota, where fruit salad reigns supreme; and the carb-conscious Delaware, with cauliflower mashed potatoes take the top spot. Alaskans want to know about stuffed mushrooms, and only two states — Virginia and Vermont — are the most concerned about macaroni and cheese.

And while Ohio's search results just say "green beans," we have to assume we were all googling how to make the casserole, because if you aren't topping your vegetables with crispy fried onions, why bother?

Dorcas Reilly, the inventor of the classic green bean casserole recipe, died in 2018.

Reilly, a 1947 graduate of Drexel University’s Home Economics program, was one of the first two full-time employees at Campbell Soup Company's home economics department, working in the test kitchen to develop new recipes.

Originally conceptualized in 1955 as a “green bean bake” for an Associated Press story asking for a vegetable side dish made with pantry staples, the casserole calls for just six ingredients: a can of Campbell’s condensed cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, green beans and crispy French-fried onions. It was a wholesome home-cooked meal crafted in an Atomic Age that celebrated canned goods and convenience cooking, but its combination of creamy, crunchy and salty has stood the test of time.

Today, Campbell’s estimates upward of 40% of their condensed mushroom soup sales are used to make Reilly’s casserole — the recipe is even printed on the back of the can.
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