The Turkey: An American Story by Andrew F. Smith

By Andrew F. Smith

“Talking turkey” concerning the chook you concept you knew


Fondly remembered because the centerpiece of kinfolk Thanksgiving reunions, the turkey is a cultural image in addition to a multi-billion greenback undefined. As a fowl, dinner, commodity, and as a countrywide icon, the turkey has develop into as American because the bald eagle (with which it truly competed for supremacy on nationwide insignias).


Food historian Andrew F. Smith’s sweeping and multifaceted historical past of Meleagris gallopavo separates truth from fiction, serving as either an exceptional ancient reference and a desirable basic learn. along with his attribute wit and insatiable interest, Smith offers the turkey in ten classes, starting with the poultry itself (actually a number of various species of turkey) flying during the wild. The Turkey as a result comprises discussions of essentially each element of the long-lasting fowl, together with the wild turkey in early the United States, the way it got here to be known as “turkey,” domestication, turkey mating behavior, growth into Europe, stuffing, stipulations in smooth commercial turkey factories, its extraordinary advertisement background of increase and bust, and its eventual ascension to vacation mainstay.  


As one of many least difficult of meals to prepare dinner, the turkey’s culinary percentages were generally explored if little noted.  the second one 1/2 the ebook collects an grand array of over 100 ancient and glossy turkey recipes from throughout the US and Europe.  From sandwiches to salmagundi, you’ll locate distinct directions on approximately each edition at the turkey. Historians will get pleasure from a glance again on the different appetites in their ancestors and professional chefs can have a chance to reintroduce a well-recognized foodstuff in forgotten methods.

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That was not true of the turkey, which was accepted from its initial arrival in Europe. Of course, the turkey was similar to fowl already integrated into European cookery, whereas other New World foods with no Old World counterparts were seen for centuries as alien. The turkey was larger than the chicken and thus supplied much more meat. It was smaller than the peacock and lacked its impressive plumage, but the turkey’s flesh tasted better and virtually any farmer could raise them. It was readily adopted as betterflavored and less likely to cause indigestion, and it could still could be served with flourish.

Most likely, given that the Portuguese acquired the turkey from the Spanish, the word peru is a corruption of the Spanish word pavo. The Portuguese established colonies in India, such as Calicut (now Kozhikode) and Goa, and Portuguese colonists probably brought turkeys with them. The Indians then adopted the Portuguese word for the new birds. Seafaring explorers and traders also caused turkeys to be used throughout the islands and land bordering the oceans. Turkeys could easily be stowed in small cages onboard, and, as they ate virtually anything, special provisions were unnecessary.

Of course, the skin of a boiled turkey is not browned, but it will be if, as many cookbook writers suggest, the bird is roasted for a short time after being boiled. Roasting was the second most common method of cooking turkeys. At the time, roasting meant placing the turkey on a heavy metal grate set over hot coals, if prepared outdoors. Indoors, the bird would be roasted in front of an open fire or, later, in a reflector oven. indd 28 8/1/06 3:45:31 PM The English Turkey . 29 turning to ensure uniform cooking and prevent scorching.

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