Melissa Locker
November 14, 2017

There are many Southern Thanksgiving traditions like heaping servings of cornbread dressing, plates of collard greens, and bowls of cranberry salad. When it comes to the holidays, many of us turn to family recipes adding a splash of buttermilk to mashed potatoes or a splash of bourbon in the sweet potatoes just like grandma used to do. When the family recipe box doesn’t have answers, though, people turn to Google and there’s one recipe that is the most-searched Thanksgiving recipe on Google throughout the South.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Southerners aren’t looking up recipes for sweet potato casserole or corn pudding or even deep-fried turkey how-to guides. Instead, Southerners are turning to the web for dessert recipes. Specifically, ideas for the best pecan pie.

The insight comes from the website Hayneedle, which created a map using data from Google Trends. Their map shows that while Illinois and Delaware residents search for ways to spice up their sweet potato and stuffing recipes, 52 percent of the country is searching for pumpkin pie ideas while they plan their Thanksgiving menus. The South, though, has different priorities when it comes to Thanksgiving planning. In Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas people were all searching for a recipe for the perfect pecan pie.

It’s interesting that pecan pie has become the go-to tradition, because as Mary Allen Perry points out, pecan pie is a relative newcomer to the Southern table. Recipes for milk-custard-based pecan pies were found in The Virginia Housewife cookbook in 1824, and the Texas Brownwood Bulletin published a syrup-based pecan pie recipe in 1921, but it wasn’t until Karo syrup started putting the recipe for pecan pie on its corn syrup bottles that the pie became the South’s most popular pie.

There’s no better time to show off your love for the dish than at Thanksgiving. If you’re looking for pecan pie ideas, Southern Living has you covered. Find recipes and how-to videos for classic pecan pie, as well as Chocolate-Bourbon, German Chocolate, and Double-Decker Pecan Pie Cheesecake, and many other variations on the pecan pie theme, as well as a recipe for an Utterly Deadly Southern Pecan Pie that will surely wow your guests