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The Student News Site of Dallastown Area High School

The Beacon

The Student News Site of Dallastown Area High School

The Beacon

Dressing vs. Filling vs. Stuffing

The Great Thanksgiving Debate about one of America’s favorite holiday side dishes.
My aunt Gwen(middle), me(right), and my little sister(left) in May 2021
Terry McCullum
My aunt Gwen(middle), me(right), and my little sister(left) in May 2021

The time for thankfulness has come. But most importantly the time to stuff our faces with savory and delicious foods. 

According to Delish, Pennsylvania’s favorite thanksgiving food is Turkey. However, that is not true for every resident of Pennsylvania.

Personally, my favorite Thanksgiving food is dressing.

Yes, I said dressing.

A dish made with love, consideration, blood, sweat, and tears. Locally, a more popular name for it is stuffing, however, in my family we call it dressing.

A dish that no one can make better than my Aunt Gwen with a recipe passed down from generation to generation.

We traditionally eat it once a year for Thanksgiving, but sometimes my aunt will make it and save some for my sister and I.

In Pennsylvania, some people even call it filling.

What people may not understand is that there is a difference between all three.

Dressing is a Southern term for stuffing however it is not used to stuff a turkey.

Unlike stuffing, dressing is made with cornbread and baked in a casserole dish. 

Stuffing is usually made with white bread or a baguette.

Although there are differences both stuffing and dressing are made with the majority of the same ingredients: spices, an assortment of vegetables, a type of starch,and herbs. 

When stuffing is cooked the idea is it will gain more flavor from the juices of the turkey.

This poll has ended.

What Do You Call This Side Dish?


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But when dressing is cooked it needs an extra component in order for it to taste just as good or even better than stuffing.

Although most people in America debate on whether the dish should be called stuffing or dressing the people of Pennsylvania call it filling.

Essentially filling is the same as stuffing or dressing.

The name suggests that it will fill something like stuffing does.

Dallastown science teacher Lori Riddle says otherwise.

“It is definitely filling in my house.  We do not “stuff” it into the turkey, so it is filling”.  

The Dallastown staff had many varying opinions on what it should be called.

To me dressing is the correct way to say it when it is not being used to stuff or fill something.

A big reason my family calls it dressing is because contrary to many American families we do not eat a big turkey

We prefer to eat turkey wings, often bought separately.

There’s nothing like soft, tasty, hot and just a little salty dressing drizzled in gravy.

Whether you call Dressing, Stuffing, or Filling everyone should enjoy the delicious baked dish this Thanksgiving!

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