Come Thanksgiving, all anyone thinks about is the feast. The stuffing, sides, the pie. Brining, cooking and carving of the turkey.
Not many of us stop and think about what the turkey we’re preparing actually looks like before it ends up de-feathered in our kitchen, in a neat, lifeless bundle. Considering that Americans eat 46 million turkeys each year around this holiday, it’s time we all remind ourselves what we’re really eating.
We’re just going to break it to you: they’re terrifying. And they come in all shapes and sizes. Humans started off by hunting and eating wild turkeys, but over the years we’ve selectively bred them to become the broader-breasted, domesticated turkeys that we eat commercially today. The majority of domesticated turkeys sold commercially are broad-breasted whites ― those are the ones pardoned by the president every year ― but there a handful of other breeds (some heritage) that also make it on the table.
We just think a dose of reality always lends some much-needed perspective. Bon appetit!
First, there’s the snood.
Yep, that’s what the red fleshy bits hanging off turkeys’ beaks are called. When a male turkey is strutting the snood engorges with blood and hangs down off the side of the beak, like this one.