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You may not have noticed, but turkeys traditionally sold in stores these days are made of white meat primarily. Over the past years, turkeys have been bred (and injected with antibiotics) specifically to develop them quicker, and contain more of the lighter meat a lot of people have come to love.
Heritage turkeys are greatly becoming a popular alternative to the chemically bred turkeys stuffing store shelves. The term heritage incorporates many different turkey breeds, including Black, Bourbon Red, Royal Palm, Slate and many more. These breeds can trace their origins back 100+ of years, and are kept as closely to wild turkeys as possible.
Totally free of chemicals and antibiotics, these birds look and taste differently when compared to 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 reduction in chemicals and increase in dark meat also comes a climb in price. While you may typically find a supermarket turkey for around $1 per pound, heritage turkeys may cost you up to $7 per single pound.
Considering you should purchase one to one and a half pounds of turkey per person, this may make a very expensive supper. If you can afford the price jump, then buy heritage turkey cause it can be right for you.
In the event you like dark meat, and enjoy the taste of other wild, game-y tasting birds, then the heritage turkey is exquisite for you.
The Various Types Of Turkeys You Should Know Of
Fresh Turkeys: By simply definition, a fresh turkey has never been frozen below a specific temperature, but it doesn’t mean it was never frozen at all. Turkeys can be marked as fresh if they’ve never been chilled below 26 degrees F.
A note, because fresh turkeys can still be stored at very low temps, they may have recently been stored at farms or markets for weeks, sometimes months, before being sold. Often ask when your turkey was butchered to ensure the freshest possible bird.
Frozen Turkeys: A turkey will be marked as frozen if it has been kept below zero degrees F. Frozen turkeys are frequently the simplest, most economical option got at many supermarkets, though they often lose some of the bird’s natural juices, and can be more challenging to chew.
Not Recently Frozen Turkeys: This term may easily cause confusion, and means that the turkey was chilled below twenty six degrees F, so it won’t be called “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 kept, killed and prepared according to kosher principals, 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 to how the turkey grew up. Natural turkeys are merely left unseasoned, basted or shaded before being sold. Make sure to remember that before paying more for a turkey with this label.
Organic Turkeys: These kinds of birds are raised with specifically designated feed, and without the added chemicals. While many consumers prefer the idea of an organic and natural turkey, this label does not necessarily affect the taste or texture of the bird.
Free Range Turkeys: This is often a misleading term, as free range does not always mean the turkey was kept outdoors or even allowed a majority of its time outdoors. A farm can label its turkeys ‘free range’ as long as the birds were allowed a few minutes per day of outdoor time – a standard that hardly influences taste or quality.