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Dressing vs. Stuffing?

So you STUFF the turkey with it. But in New Orleans we always called it dressing as do most Southerners it seems. Stove Top Stuffing is mass-market.

Is this regional? What do you call it? Is that what your family did?
Where do you live?

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  1. You're going to hear a lot of answers and I believe the name will vary by geographic region - of both the poster and ancestors of the poster. I've lived on both coasts and in-between, currently in the southwest.

    My family is a combination of various ancestry and we have always differentiated between what goes IN the turkey, calling it "stuffing" and what is baked OUTSIDE the turkey calling it "dressing". Yes, it can be the exact same thing but the name changes depending on where it cooks. I've found stuffing to be softer and more moist while the dressing can be crisped so we usually do it both ways.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sherri

      I'm veg, so at Thanksgivings my mom makes sure some is baked as dressing, moistened with vegetable broth. As a kid, we called it all stuffing, regardless of method.

    2. Exactly, to me stuffing is cooked inside the bird, or whatever, and dressing is cooked seperately like in a casserole dish. But folks I know can call it either.

      1. See, it wasn't until I started reading widely, and especially seeing it come up on internet discussion boards, that I even heard of dressing. I grew up on the west coast, but my mother's a New Yorker and my father's from Wisconsin, and in my family, it was always called stuffing, whether it was cooked in or out of the bird (we usually had both).

        1 Reply
        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

          Yeah, it's always been stuffing to me, but only in the bird over at one of my grandma's houses.

        2. Always dressing in my family whether it was stuffed in to the bird or not. It was a side to dress the bird.

          1. But where is everybody from? Where are your families from? Everyone in the US moves around so much now that we are losing regional distinctions in a lot of things.
            Is there a regional basis for this?
            Katie Nell? Candy?

            2 Replies
            1. re: MakingSense

              Midwest for me (Kansas, to be exact). Candy's from the south.

              1. re: Katie Nell

                My family is southern and southwestern. I was an Air Force brat and lived in a lot of places. On my mother's side which is the dominant side when it comes to food, they were all old south who migrated west after "The Great Unpleasantness". No matter where we lived the cooking traditions lived on.