Monday, November 24, 2008

What's the best tasting Turkey?

Are all Turkey's created equal?

Apparently not.

I was a bit bored today. The stock market was up and I felt like a Turkey for buying during a rally so with no real drama in the world I started to surf aimlessly. Well, not quite. I was sort of looking for an answer to a question. The question was - Who makes the best tasting turkey? I figured with Thanksgiving only three days away it might be useful information.

Age old Turkey wisdom - Buy High/Sell Low!

Here's what I found. I'll keep it brief for those who want a quick answer > The heritage breeds, with names like Narragansett and Bourbon Red, are supposed to be much more flavorful. The birds have a longer growing period than commercial turkeys; as a result, they have an extra layer of fat. They also have a higher proportion of dark meat. And since they are more agile, they get more exercise than even free-range commercial birds, and so they're said to have a firmer texture and a gamier taste.

By contrast, (according to an L.A. Times article) the supermarket breed — called Broadbreasted White — suffers in comparison, heritage turkey fans say, because it's been bred to yield as much white meat as possible (hence its name). Because of all that tinkering with nature, a Broadbreasted White is so top-heavy that it can't mate; it must be artificially inseminated. This is true even for organic and free-range turkeys. And in fact, free-range Broadbreasted Whites are so unsteady on their feet that they don't "range" much at all.

Well that's the short version. Clearly there are some other issues to contend with like availability and price. Some of these birds can be quite expensive and require weeks/months to order. And for some of us the taste isn't quite that important. It may be more about the quantity and the capabilities of the chef. I know when I'm cooking or grilling, it helps to have an edge!

Here are a few more links on the subject:

  1. Best Tasting Thanksgiving Turkey
  2. Definition of a Heritage Turkey
  3. Bird Basics
  4. Pound per pound- Which turkey tastes best? see this link for the cook-off/test.

Happy Cooking and Happy Eating!

Not sure about carving? See: How to Carve a Holiday Turkey - Two Videos.

12 comments:

Jane Turley said...

Hee, hee, hee... so someone's been a little bit of a turkey eh? What a silly billy! Remind me not to employ you as my financial adviser!

(Position still vacant for personal trainer though; send me your details for intimate interview.)

Oh sorry, I meant "immediate interview".

intrepidideas said...

Wait a second... Did you just call me a Turkey Miss Jayne? Gobble gobble... That means two-a-day work outs for you! I'll have you running hills and wind sprints! When is my interview?

Footsteps said...

Tip-toeing back out.... (Jeesh, you two!)

intrepidideas said...

Oh no... Please stay. I may need a witness. Or a referee. (smile)

Jane Turley said...

I know, I know Footsteps I'm an outrageous flirt! But since Mr I is an ocean away I guess I can get away with it! Heaven help me if we were to meet in real life! (I'm betting Mr I is really Danny Devito and those speedos are actually ankle length!)

Mr I - a referee is better 'cos a witness sounds kinda kink and I've my reputation to think about!!

About that interview; I can fit you in any time. Just call for an appointment.

Footsteps said...

Miss Jane,
Lend me a whistle and tell me the rules; otherwise I'll just have to toss yellow and red cards, wave the occasional flag, and maybe mutter "off-sides" when anyone thinks they're actually getting anywhere (I've learned a lot on the side-lines of my kids' games!).

Jane Turley said...

Thank you Footsteps!

Now, I never play by the rules: I just play dirty! All's fair in love and war etc etc... But Mr I?? Hmm... I think he plays sneaky; what d'you reckon?

Ahh..kids' games; so much fun! I used to like Pin the Tail on the Donkey until I realised I had 6 tails....

intrepidideas said...

I can see I'm in trouble. It sounds like I've been penalized for "Offensive Fashion" and the match hasn't even started. I can see that the only way to win this contest is to bribe the Referee... (slides airline tickets under the table to Footsteps.)

Jane Turley said...

Bribing the referee, that IS sneaky. Hmm.... I can see you are a worthy adversary Mr I! But alas, Miss Jayne is sleight of hand and very, very devious....No turkey escapes my clutches and when I get 'em they meet a very sticky end!

Footsteps said...

Hmmm... I'm starting to think a single whistle won't be adequate. We may have to use a wishbone offense on this. Ready, set...

intrepidideas said...

Footsteps, that's pretty funny! "Wishbone Offense?" You have been listening up on the sidelines. I may have to consult with you for a bit of strategy. How was your Thanksgiving? Did you have the kids? I hope it was relaxing.

Miss Jayne... Gobble - Gobble - Gobble! Catch me if you can. With you I'm sure those could be famous last words. Anyway, what do you guys do in the UK while the colonials are giving thanks?

Jane Turley said...

So you're a colonial eh? It's so refreshing to find an American who knows his place!

I'm afraid it's just an ordinary day for Miss Jayne; shooting rhinos, sipping tea and making sure the butler polishes the brass. Tonight though the infamous book club meets so by 11pm I will be slightly the worse for wear.

(That Earl Grey is potent stuff you know.)