'heritage turkeys' on Serious Eats

Serious Green: Go Heritage and Local with Your Bird This Thanksgiving

[Flickr: ExperienceLA] Thanksgiving is coming up quick and it's time to start thinking about all the fixins' and the main event—the turkey. This year, think about committing to a Heritage turkey instead of your normal supermarket pick. A Normal Bird [Flickr: Martin Pettitt] So what's wrong with most of those birds you'll find in the supermarket? Your normal bird (almost all turkeys bred for Thanksgiving are the Broad-Breasted White or Broad-Breasted Bronze variety) are so removed from a traditional turkey that they must be artificially inseminated to reproduce. These birds, all come from one basic genetic line that was developed in the 1950's. In keeping with Americans' preference for white meat, these birds were bred to have extremely large... More

Kansas Farmer Keeps the Heritage Turkey Tradition Alive

Although Frank Reese Jr. doesn't quite like the "heritage" label (it's losing its meaning, he says), he's keeping five vintage turkey breeds from going the way of the dodo. With careful breeding and selection, the heritage birds will have a richer, deeper flavor than bland commercial turkeys, but the process requires a discerning eye. "People will eat these turkeys for a while as a novelty, but if we don’t keep the quality up and make it as good as it can be, people will stop buying them."... More

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