There was a time when every Montana Thanksgiving table would probably display a dish with the favorite dressing recipe. In decades past, that would have included Grandma's secret ingredients with the dressing actually prepared inside the bird.

That all changed in the "Stove Top" era, but it didn't stop Montana cooks from continuing to "dress up" the dressing with all kinds of additional add-ons. Slather on some butter, and/or that favorite turkey gravy and it could be the highlight of the meal.

But apparently, Montana is becoming generic like so many other states, with dressing falling out of favor as the favorite side.

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Personally, I blame Idaho

Admittedly, mashed potatoes have always been a Thanksgiving meal favorite. If for no other reason than they make the perfect "gravy delivery tool." But for dressing fans, it might be concerning to note that mashed potatoes have now de-throned dressing as their favorite side, not only in the U.S. but here in Montana.

A new survey from the folks at Campbell's Soups found that mashed potatoes are now the favorite side across a majority of states, 23 in all, including Montana. Dressing is now a favorite in just 6-states.

Unsplash; Anna Stampfli
Unsplash; Anna Stampfli

It's no surprise Idaho is on the mashed potatoes list, although surprisingly Maine isn't. They fall in the dressing camp.

Oregon, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico also side with spuds, but Colorado is the stand-alone for the Rocky Mountain states, preferring "bread" as the favorite side. Washington is the only state where green bean casserole is the fav.

Why does it matter?

Well, if you want to keep the troops friendly and the family from fighting, I'd be sure to lay in some extra mashed potatoes. There's probably an advantage here because you can put the kids in charge of the project. (Just please, for the love of all that's tasty, DON'T go instant).

And if you want to surprise everyone, throw some mac n' cheese on the table. Campbell's has that in the Top 5 side dishes for the first time.

Turkeys should be worried too

The other surprise from the survey is that 67% of Americans said they prefer side dishes to the main entree. Over half said they'd pass and have nothing but sides and be happy.

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Gallery Credit: Jesse James

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