Turkeys for Thanksgiving?


It seems like every year we sit down at a festively decorated table with family and friends to give thanks and enjoy a feast. That feast would include Turkey and sometimes mashed potatoes, stuffing, or yams. We would eat until our pants would be bursting at the seams. Did you ever wonder why turkey? Why do we eat turkey at Thanksgiving time? It doesn’t even taste good.

If chicken and beef is so readily available why don’t we have those for Thanksgiving dinner instead of turkey? Back then beef was not widely available until the late 19th century. Poultry was slaughtered without a huge economic sacrifice. I know what you are thinking. Why turkey if poultry was okay? Chicken was highly regarded back then and rooster was too tough.

Turkey was decided on because it was ideal for fall. Turkeys are born during the spring time and spend 7 months at the farm plumping up to 10 ten pounds by the time Thanksgiving came around. Turkeys are fresh, affordable and big enough to feed a large amount of people. They are cheaper by the pound and easier to raise. Around 1863 Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving a national holiday. By that time turkeys for Thanksgiving had become iconic.