Ah, the Modern American Turkey, the Broadbreasted, Beltsville White. Can't walk, can't fly, can't mate, can't lay eggs, utterly stupid, not disease resistant, couldn't survive a day in the wild, or even in most fields...and tastes like paper. De-beaked, de-clawed, can't roost....a modern wonder....which could be wiped out by a single disease.
There is a large movement afoot to bring our original, TRADITIONAL breeds back from the brink of extinction, and there are now more birds than the market can sell, because people are not aware that a better option, and healthful, traditional dining experience exists.
If one looks up Heritage Turkeys, it is quite a story. The Narragansett variety, close to the Eastern wild type, was presented to Abraham Lincoln when he declared Thanksgiving Day a national holiday. They say the Bourbon Red is the most desirable, but there are many excellent varieties. They taste nothing like a white meat commercial bird, and are just great. Eggs and day-old chicks (poults) are available through the mail, and can be raised in the backyard. Things are changing, and it is a good thing for us all, and hopefully before there is the inevitable disaster. Wild turkeys can fly faster than 50 mph, and run 35 mph., a truly amazing bird, which Benjamin Franklin chose as our national symbol, over the eagle. Our forefathers bred varieties to be disease resistant, and delicious. Once you've tried one, you will wonder why anyone would ever buy a "Butterball," if they had the opportunity to do otherwise. Modern turkeys need very many spices to make them taste like anything appetizing, and the proliferation of various side dishes is an indication that Americans are voting with their forks.
posted on 11/24/2005 12:22:57 PM PST
("He is a [sane] man who can have tragedy in his heart and comedy in his head." - G. K.Chesterton)
There's a guy who raises heritage turkeys near us in Soccorro. We're getting one next year... that is if Slim can't get close enough to a wild onw with his old Model 12.
posted on 11/24/2005 12:25:28 PM PST
(Now that taglines are cool, I refuse to have one.)
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