Introduction :

The Domesticated Turkey Is A Large Poultry Bird. It Was Domesticated By The Indigenous Peoples Of Mesoamerica At Least 2,000 Years Ago With The Evidence Pointing To What Are Today The Central Regions Of Mexico.

Turkey Meat Is A Popular Form Of Poultry And Turkeys Are Raised Throughout Temperate Parts Of The World, Partially Because Industrialized Farming Has Made It Very Cheap For The Amount Of Meat It Produces. Female Domesticated Turkeys Are Referred To As Hens And The Chicks May Be Called Poults Or Turkey lings. In The United States The Males Are Referred To As Toms While In Europe Males Are Stags.

The Great Majority Of Domesticated Turkeys Are Bred To Have White Feathers Because Their Pin Feathers Are Less Visible When The Carcass Is Dressed Although Brown Or Bronze – Feathered Varieties Are Also Raised.

The English Language Name For This Species Is The Result Of An Early Misidentification Of The Bird With An Unrelated Species Which Was Imported To Europe Through The Country Of Turkey.

Human Touch :

Turkeys Are Traditionally Eaten As The Main Course Of Christmas Feasts In Much Of The World ( Stuffed Turkey ) Since Appearing In England In The 16th Century As Well As For Thanks Giving In The United States And Canada. While Eating Turkey Was Once Mainly Restricted To Special Occasions Such As These, Turkey Is Now Eaten Year – Round And Forms A Regular Part Of Many Diets.

Turkeys Are Sold Sliced And Ground As Well As ” Whole ” In A Manner Similar To Chicken With The Head, Feet And Feathers Removed. Frozen Whole Turkeys Remain Popular. Sliced Turkey Is Frequently Used As A Sandwich Meat Or Served As Cold Cuts, In Some Cases Where Recipes Call For Chicken It Can Be Used As A Substitute. Ground Turkey Is Sold Just As Ground Beef And Is Frequently Marketed As A Healthy Beef Substitute. Without Careful Preparation, Cooked Turkey Is Usually Considered To End Up Less Moist Than Other Poultry Meats Such As Chicken Or Duck.

Wild Turkeys While Technically The Same Species As Domesticated Turkeys, Have A Very Different Taste From Farm – Raised Turkeys. Almost All Of The Meat Is ” Dark ” ( Even The Breast ) With A More Intense Flavor.

Both Fresh And Frozen Turkeys Are Used For Cooking As With Most Foods, Fresh Turkeys Are Generally Preferred Although They Cost More. Around Holiday Seasons, High Demand For Fresh Turkeys Often Makes Them Difficult To Purchase Without Ordering In Advance. For The Frozen Variety The Large Size Of The Turkeys Typically Used For Consumption Makes Defrosting Them A Major Endeavor: A Typically Sized Turkey Will Take Several Days To Properly Defrost.

Turkeys Are Usually Baked Or Roasted In An Oven For Several Hours Often While The Cook Prepares The Remainder Of The Meal. Sometimes A Turkey Is Brined Before Roasting To Enhance Flavor And Moisture Content. This Is Necessary Because The Dark Meat Requires A Higher Temperature To Denature All Of The Myoglobin Pigment Than The White Meat ( Very Low In Myoglobin ) So That Fully Cooking The Dark Meat Tends To Dry Out The Breast. Brining Makes It Possible To Fully Cook The Dark Meat Without Drying The Breast Meat. Turkeys Are Sometimes Decorated With Turkey Frills Prior To Serving.

In Some Areas Particularly The American South They May Also Be Deep Fried In Hot Oil ( Often Peanut Oil ) For 30 To 45 Minutes By Using A Turkey Fryer. Deep Frying Turkey Has Become Something Of A Fad With Hazardous Consequences For Those Unprepared To Safely Handle The Large Quantities Of Hot Oil Required.

The White Meat Of Turkey Is Generally Considered Healthier Than Dark Meat Because Of Its Lower Fat Content But The Nutritional Differences Are Small. And Although Turkey Is Reputed To Cause Sleepiness, Holiday Dinners Are Commonly Large Meals Served With Carbohydrates, Fats And Alcohol In A Relaxed Atmosphere, All Of Which Are Bigger Contributors To Post – Meal Sleepiness Than The Tryptophan In Turkey.

Although Most Commonly Used As Fertilizer, Turkey Litter ( Droppings Mixed With Bedding Material, Usually Wood Chips ) Is Being Used As A Fuel Source In Electric Power Plants. One Such Plant In Western Minnesota Provides 55 Megawatts Of Power Using 500,000 Tons Of Litter Per Year.