Gobble, gobble, or maybe not

turkeyhead.jpgThe BBC News web site's Magazine section has an article today about the history of how turkey became fast food. While it's about turkey production in the UK, it's probably applicable to any nation that has large scale consumption, and production, of turkey meat.

The article says that while turkey used to be a seasonal treat, nowadays it's put into everything from sausages to dog food. Turkey has been the darling of any kind of diet for decades now since the breast meat is very low fat. But as with any food that becomes very popular, brute force industrialized production methods set in. And because turkey meat bred this way has very little flavor to start with, it has to be doctored up with all kinds of seasonings and additives.

Here in Switzerland, turkey meat doesn't have any tradition, but it's being pushed in recent years as a substitute for the ever popular veal. I don't buy that substitution at all. I've never been a fan of turkey meat - to me it's flavorless, rather tough, easy to overcook, and just boring. I'd much rather go with chicken meat, which (if it comes from more or less happily bred chickens) has some flavor and is much more tender. And I'll think twice about reaching for the turkey ham or sausage next time I think.

Filed under:  ingredients ethics turkey

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The only problem with turkey being at one time a seasonal treat is that if you don't eat/never enjoyed the taste of turkey, no one really seems to be willing to let you be content with the absence of turkey on your plate. The only way in which I've ever heard people speak of turkey as always tasting good is the meat with all the fat or deep-fried. Which basically makes anything taste good.

good point Katie...I've had deep-fried turkey once, and it was pretty good, but..it was deep fried. (I believe it was brined too, which helps). But I don't quite see the fuss about turkey really...especially around Thanksgiving. Besides, the Turducken debacle a couple of years ago has turned me off whole turkey for at least a decade.. :P

I've had really good turkey, but then again, I've been raised around it most of my life. Mom processed them for a living, and after 10-15 years, you learn all of the tricks to it. I think industrialization is what ruins the meat (ANY meat) more than the animal.

If you can find a farm, fresh turkey/guinees/boar/rabbit is amazing.