KellyBronze Thanksgiving Cooking & Carving with Paul Kelly

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You might not have taken note, but turkeys traditionally sold in butcheries these days are made of white meat primarily. Over the past years, these birds have been bred and injected with antibiotics specifically to develop them faster, and contain more of the lighter meat many men and women have come to enjoy.

Heritage turkeys are rapidly becoming a chosen alternative to the chemically altered turkeys filling up store shelves. The term heritage incorporates a variety turkey breeds, consisting of Black, Bourbon Red, Royal Palm, Slate and many more. These breeds can trace their roots back hundreds of years, and are raised as closely to wild turkeys as possible.

Free of chemicals plus antibiotics, these birds appear and taste differently from modern store-bought turkeys, and often have a white to dark meat ratio closer to 50/50, a sizable increase to common, predominately white options. With the decrease in chemicals and increase in dark meat also brings you a surge in price. While you can get a supermarket turkey for around $1 per pound, heritage turkeys can cost a consumer up to $7 per single pound.

Considering you should buy one to one and a half pounds of turkey per person, this can result a very expensive dinner. If you can afford the price jump, then buy heritage turkey cause it can be ideal for you.

If perhaps you like dark meat, and enjoy the taste of other untamed, game-y tasting birds, the heritage turkey is perfect for you.

The Various Kinds Of Turkeys You Should Know Of

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

A note, because fresh turkeys can still be kept at very low temperatures, they may have recently been kept at farms or markets for weeks, occasionally months, before they are offered for sale. Usually ask when your turkey was butchered to ensure the freshest possible turkey.

Frozen Turkeys: A turkey will be marked as frozen if it has been kept 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 harder to chew.

Not Recently Frozen Turkeys: This term can certainly cause confusion, and means that the turkey was kept below twenty six degrees F, so it can’t be referred to as “fresh”, but above 0 degrees F, so it does indeed 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 kept, 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, which might increase price.

Natural Turkeys: Surprisingly, this label doesn’t refer on how the turkey grew up. Natural turkeys are merely kept unseasoned, basted or coloured before being sold. Make sure to remember that before paying extra for a turkey with this label.

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

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

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