by Cody Cobb
Before Thanksgiving break, my plant systematics professor told us that if we handed her a list of the scientific names of every plant species we consumed over the holidays we would get extra credit. I toyed with the idea of simply rewriting a recipe to include the latin names but considered that too easy. Instead, I’d have to go all out and write a full-on academic paper of my holiday experience. Since this would also be my first Thanksgiving away from home, I had cause to experiment. What follows, then, is my extra credit assignment:
Thanksgiving celebrations traditionally involve the ceremonial consumption of a flightless avian species, Meleagris gallopavo. Prepared as the centerpiece of an intricate meal that may also include Ipomoea batatas, Cucurbita pepo, Brassica rapa, etc., Meleagris gallopavo is widely perceived as an indispensable component of the holiday’s festivities. Presented here is the first report of a successful Thanksgiving feast lacking Meleagris gallopavo.
Full text here (pdf).
Cody Cobb is a first year Ph.D. student in plant biology & pathology at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He has lived his entire life previous to this point in Texas and is currently enjoying his first autumn. He feels he should mention that his earliest desktop PC was an Acer. So is his ‘mustache.’