Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkeys Travel Too

I had planned on writing to you yesterday, but on the way to my computer I fell into a turkey and stuffing and sweet potatoes with toasted marshmallows coma, stretched out on the floor in front of my parent's fireplace, and fell asleep.

I've finally shaken my turkey stupor.  But I'm not quite finished with the turkey talk yet.  Now, now, before you turn around and run for fear of overdosing on any more Thanksgiving food let me set your groaning stomachs at ease; no turkey recipes, I promise.  I know the day has come and gone but there is something I have to share with you before we truly call it a day.

This year I stumbled upon something special.  An extraordinary turkey.  A bird with a story.

Before the last Thursday of every year's November, we travel from our corners, all with the same destination: tables holding pounds of golden, crispy turkey.  We come from Brooklyn, the west coast, just around the corner...all for the bird.  But what about that bird?  It travels too.  All years before this I'd say our turkey came from the grocery store.  Before the store? Hmm.  Maybe I'd rather not know.

This year it was different.  My turkey came from Kansas.  It came from The Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch.  It was farmed by Frank Reese Jr.  Frank Reese Jr. has a mustache.  This year I'm all in the know just from reading the package of my Heritage Turkey.

Heritage turkeys are ancestors of the industrial, Broad-breasted White turkey we find in our store coolers today.  They can have a lineage as far stretching as 150 years back, and are raised on small farms in the heartland of the U.S.  Domestic breeds, largely in danger of extinction as industrial farms pack chain groceries with heavy, antibiotic rich turkeys, to save the Heritage breeds farmer's would tell you we need to eat them.

For those in the east and the west, the north and the south,  Heritage Foods USA.  A business created by Patrick Martins, the founder of Slow Foods USA, Heritage Foods provides consumers with the Heritage breeds of turkey that need your ovens and gravy to stay alive.  A connection between the small farmers and your holiday company, with a Heritage bird you are assured a vegetarian fed, free range turkey.  A happy bird.  You'll know where it came from, who raised it.

And I can tell you, you'll know it will taste delicious.  Richer, full of flavor, and so mouthwateringly moist...

Best of all, it doesn't stop at turkey.  You're full of turkey, I know.  Heritage Foods USA also has pork, beef, lamb.  Charcuterie.  Even fruit preserves and snacks.  All from regional producers (like Frank Jr.) who celebrate honest American traditions of farming and food production.  Some have mustaches, some don't.

During a time when we travel to say thanks to our favorite people, I couldn't help but feel thankful for the traveling turkeys, that there are still healthy birds and people to plan their trips to our table.

I know you can't wait for Chinese take-out night.  Pizza.  Anything but more turkey (thank you for allowing me a few, possibly gratuitous post-Thanksgiving turkey photos!)  I just couldn't let pass the opportunity to share with you my discovery in hopes it will excite you too.

And remember, your Christmas goose is just around the corner, your Hanukkah brisket not far behind...

1 comment:

Ida said...

That looks delicious!