Different families celebrate the holidays in unique ways, and there may be more than culture to thank for our traditional tendencies. 

According to a holiday-themed study recently conducted by Ancestry LLC, most of the nation would prefer to eat spicy foods over the holidays; with Saskatchewan being the strongest exception. The study revealed that among those surveyed, 87 per cent of Saskatchewan residents would prefer a traditional turkey dinner, which is compared to 26 per cent of the nation. 

Crista Cowan, a corporate genealogist at Ancestry spoke on their findings. 

“Some people like to spice it up with just different kinds of intense flavours in their food, and we've actually found here at ancestry that that's a genetic preference,” stated Bowan. “It's not just your palate that's affected by some of those nature versus nurture conversations. We also found in that same survey that 40 per cent of those in Saskatchewan prefer to wash the dishes following their holiday season rather than go dancing.” 

These unorthodox surveys are performed across Canada and cross-referenced to the abundance of data from Ancestry DNA tests. By making these comparisons, Ancestry determines certain tendencies can be linked to genetic traits. 

“There are lots of different traits that are genetic; like whether or not you like the flavour of cilantro,” said Bowan. “We find that that seems to be pretty evenly split across the country. Some people love it, some people find it has a really bitter flavour.” 

The survey on Holiday meal preference was completed by a sample of 1,508 Canadians.

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