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You may not have noticed, but turkeys traditionally being sold in supermarkets today are now 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 Americans have come to love.
Heritage turkeys are greatly becoming a chosen alternative to the chemically bred turkeys filling up store shelves. The term heritage incorporates a number of turkey breeds, including Black, Bourbon Red, Royal Palm, Slate and many more. These breeds can trace their ancestral roots back hundreds of years, and are kept as closely to wild turkeys as possible.
Free of chemicals and antibiotics, these birds appear and taste in a different way 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 decrease in chemicals and increase in dark meat also brings you a climb in price. While you may buy a supermarket turkey around $1 per pound, heritage turkeys may cost a consumer up to $7 per single pound.
Considering you should purchase one to one and a half pounds of turkey per individual, this may result a very expensive dinner. If you possibly can afford the price leap, then buy heritage turkey cause it can be right for you.
If you like dark meat, and like the taste of other wild, game-y tasting birds, the heritage turkey is exquisite for you.
The Various Kinds Of Turkeys To Know About
Fresh Turkeys: By definition, a fresh turkey has never 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 chilled below 26 degrees F.
A note, because fresh turkeys can still be retained at very low temperatures, they may have just been kept at farms or storages for weeks, at times months, before they are offered for sale. Usually 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 mostly the easiest, most economical option got at various supermarkets, though they may lose some of the bird’s natural juices, and can be tougher 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 won’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 kept, killed then 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 can increase price.
Natural Turkeys: Surprisingly, this label doesn’t refer on how the bird grew up. Natural turkeys are merely kept unseasoned, basted or coloured before they are sold. Make sure to remember that before paying extra for a turkey with this kind of 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 turkey, this label will not necessarily affect the taste or texture of the turkey.
Free Range Turkeys: This is often a deceptive term, as free range does not always suggest the turkey was kept outdoors or even allowed a majority of its time outdoors. A farmer can label its turkeys ‘free range’ given that the birds were allowed a few minutes per day of outdoor time – a standard that barely influences taste or quality.