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You may not have noticed, but turkeys traditionally sold in butcheries these days are now made of primarily white meat. Over the years, turkeys have been bred and injected with antibiotics the main reason to develop them faster, and have more of the lighter meat many people have come to love.

Heritage turkeys are greatly becoming a popular alternative to the chemically altered turkeys filling store shelves. The term heritage incorporates many different turkey breeds, including Black, Bourbon Red, Royal Palm, Slate and more. These breeds can trace their ancestral roots back hundreds of years, and are kept as closely to wild turkeys as possible.

Clear of chemicals plus antibiotics, these birds appear and taste in a different way from modern store-bought turkeys, and more often have a white to dark meat with ratio closer to 50/50, a substantial increase to common, predominately white options. With the decrease in chemicals and increase in dark meat also comes a surge in price. While you may get a supermarket turkey costing about $1 per pound, heritage turkeys may cost a buyer up to $7 every pound.

Considering you should buy one to one and a half pounds of turkey per individual, this may make a very expensive supper. If you possibly could afford the price leap, then buy heritage turkey cause it can be right for you.

In the event that you like dark meat, and like the taste of other wild, game-y tasting birds, then the heritage turkey is simply perfect for you.

The Different Kinds Of Turkeys You Should Know Of

Fresh Turkeys: By definition, a fresh turkey has never been frozen below a specific temperature, but doesn’t mean it was never frozen at all. Turkeys can be labeled as fresh if they’ve never been cooled below 26 degrees F.

Note, because fresh turkeys may still be retained at very low temps, they may have just been stored at farms or storages for weeks, at times months, before they are offered for sale. Often ask when your turkey was butchered to ensure the freshest possible turkey.

Frozen Turkeys: A turkey will be labelled as frozen if it has been chilled below zero degrees F. Frozen turkeys are mostly the least difficult, most economical option found at many supermarkets, though they often lose some of the bird’s natural juices, and can be more challenging to chew.

Not Previously Frozen Turkeys: This term can certainly cause confusion, and means that the turkey was kept below 26 degrees F, so it can’t be referred to as “fresh”, but above 0 degrees F, so it does not have to be labelled “frozen”.

Kosher Turkeys: Kosher turkeys are raised on grain, and are not given chemical stimulants. Allowed to graze freely, these turkeys are raised, killed and prepared according to kosher regulations, with a salt brine soak. This kind of soak gives kosher turkeys a distinctive flavor, and increases the bird’s overall weight, that might increase price.

Natural Turkeys: Surprisingly, this label doesn’t refer on how the bird grew up. Natural turkeys are merely kept unseasoned, basted or shaded before they are sold. Be sure to remember that before paying more for a turkey with this label.

Organic Turkeys: These birds are kept with specifically designated feed, and without the added chemicals. While many consumers prefer the idea of an organic and natural turkey, this label will not necessarily affect the taste or texture of the turkey.

Free Range Turkeys: This kind is often a deceptive term, as free range does not always imply the bird was raised outdoors or even allowed a majority of its time outdoors. A farm can label its turkeys ‘free range’ provided that the birds were allowed a few minutes per day of outdoor time – a standard that hardly influences taste or quality.

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