Turkey is one of the best countries in the world. A very strategic location that connects Asia to Europe and to the Balkan Peninsula. I’m not going to talk about Turkey as a state, but the delicious kind of turkey and the many types of turkey that we eat in celebrations. It’s especially famous for being the favorite food every Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a one special day, a national holiday, that is celebrated in different countries like the United States of America, Canada, the Caribbean Islands, and Liberia which is an African state-nation that is also being observed in other countries like the Philippines, Australia, United Kingdom, and many more.
It is the day of acknowledging all the good things happening, celebrating harvests, and prayers directed to the Almighty God. It was declared by Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States of America and an American Statesman, that “No citizen of the United States of America shall refrain from turkey on Thanksgiving Day,” which became the official Thanksgiving meal of choice by the American populace because of its history where colonists hunted wild turkeys in 1621 and since turkey is from the North American region. Therefore, turkey is the national food of choice every Thanksgiving.
What is Turkey?
Turkey is a large type of bird that has its origins in the Americas. It was then that turkeys were exported by Indians which were first transported to Spain and from Spain. Turkey became popular until it reached the many lands of Europe. It became popular in England through merchant ships and its Turkey merchants of the Ottoman Empire and was originally named as a turkey-cock. They were highly traded because of their plumage, as it is the feathers covering the bird making a majestic look. Males get a plumage showing more patterns than the females to be used for ladies’ fashion.
Two Types Of Turkey
There are two types of Turkey which will be discussed below:
1. Domestic Turkey
This is the domestication of the turkey, as turkeys are being farmed as part of the poultry. They were classified as Toms in the United States of America while Stags for Ireland and the United Kingdom calling men turkeys, Hens calling female turkeys, and Poults or Turkeylings for the chicks of the turkeys. Domestic Turkeys are being bred for commercial consumption of meat turkey. They weigh as heavy as thirty-nine kilograms and can reach a total length of 124 centimeters.
Here are the different types of Domestic Turkey Breeds:
- Broad Breasted White: This is a turkey hand-picked for large scales turkey farms as they produce more breast meat and can grow bigger than forty pounds.
- Broad Breasted Bronze: These are large size turkeys that have lighter and shinier feathers. Unfortunately, this kind of turkey has difficulties to breed its kind.
- Standard Bronze: They have almost the same physical features with the Broad Breasted Bronze but unlike their counterpart, they can naturally breed and they only have single breasts.
- Bourbon Red: This turkey is a non-commercial turkey that is smaller in size weighing from ten kilograms to fifteen kilograms.
- Blue Slate Turkey: These turkeys are very well-known for their slate-gray plumage and are already an endangered animal.
- Narragansett Turkeys: These turkeys have good plumage feathers, mature early, quality meat, and are really good egg producers. They can weigh as heavy as twelve to twenty-eight pounds.
- Beltsville Small White: These are small turkeys that have white plumage. Because they are small they can satisfy the market demands for small groups, restaurants, and households.
- Midget White Turkey: This turkey is known for its small stature and plain white plumage that weighs up to thirteen pounds.
2. Wild Turkey
These turkeys are usually found in the wild. Their body feathers are typically black and with some dark color combinations like grey or brown. Adult wild turkey males are called gobblers or toms while the female wild turkey is called hens. They live in tropical rainforests with a mix of opening terrains like fields and pastures.
These wild turkeys are also classified according to their habitat, color, and behavior. Below are the subspecies linked with wild turkeys:
- Eastern Wild Turkey: also known as Meleagris Gallopavo Silvestris and the most hunted wild turkey of all. It is one of the largest subspecies of wild turkeys. It has a length of up to four feet and can weigh as heavy as fourteen kilograms.
- Rio Grande Wild Turkey: These type of wild turkey have long legs and has light tan color lower back feathers. They are usually found on the streams, rivers, pine, and oak forests.
- Florida Wild Turkey: These are small and dark wild turkeys that are found in near swamps and weighs at eight kilograms.
- Gould’s Wild Turkey: These wild turkeys are the largest of the subspecies of wild turkeys, they have long legs, large feet, and long tail feathers.
- Merriam’s Wild Turkey: These wild turkeys live in mountainous regions. They have lower back and tail feathers with purple and bronze color.
Turkey As A Food
Turkeys are indeed very delicious as they contain more vitamins, minerals, fat, and calories. The dark meat of the turkey is said to contain better amounts of vitamins, minerals, fat, and calories compared to the white turkey meat. They are rich in protein that helps maintain lean muscle mass. This also makes a person feel fuller for a longer time. They are sliced properly with the same practice as with slicing a chicken.
Turkey is not just a national food that is being consumed every thanksgiving, but it symbolizes a country, a great story of history, and a symbol of change for the many. What’s good about turkey is that they are still being preserved and commemorated allowing families and different people to unite as one just for one day of the feast. In addition, they have been the cornerstone of a powerful country in the days of its very beginning which gives a truly remarkable meaning for every thanksgiving. Therefore, turkey is the national food of choice every thanksgiving.