The turkey has been a part of traditional Thanksgiving celebrations as it is a custom to eat turkey on the Thanksgiving Day. Whether the turkey was served at the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving feast or not is still a subject of research because there is no firm evidence in favor of this belief. Still since turkey is compulsorily included in the Thanksgiving dinner so it will certainly be interesting to know Thanksgiving turkey history as to how eating turkey on Thanksgiving became a tradition.
In the words of famous statesman, Benjamin Franklin, the turkey is a much more respectable Bird and withal a true original Native of North America. Therefore he wanted the turkey to be the national bird of the United States in place of Bald Eagle.
It is a popular belief that the custom of eating turkey in Thanksgiving dinner is rooted in the story of pilgrims. But a firsthand account of Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving feast in 1621 tells us that the pilgrims had “fowl” for their fall feast and also that the local Indians “killed five deer” for their three-day feast of Thanksgiving celebrations. There is as such no mention of the turkey in first Thanksgiving feast.
William Bradford wrote about the first Thanksgiving feast, in the “ History Of Plymouth Plantation “, somewhere about twenty-two years after the first Thanksgiving feast. Another pilgrim has written in one of his letters, which he sent to England Edward Winslow, that the governor sent “four men out fowling” and they returned with turkeys, ducks and geese.
It is believed that the William Branford’s documents were lost and rediscovered in 1854. And it was only then that the turkey was accepted as an icon of the Thanksgiving Day and cooking and eating turkey in Thanksgiving dinner gradually became a tradition. And after being accepted as Thanksgiving icon the turkeys have been extensively raised in order to provide the excellent quality turkey meat to the people. The male turkey is popularly known as ‘ tom ‘ and the female turkey is known as ‘ hen ‘. The Californians are the largest consumers of turkey in the United States.
The Washington-based ‘ National Turkey Federation ‘ says that protein-rich turkey meat can “improve your mood naturally … a turkey sandwich before a meeting is much more likely to boost alertness than a plain bagel or candy bar.”
Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe:
Cranberry Glazed Roasted Turkey
Herb Roasted Turkey
Cheese Turkey And Rice Quiche
Thanksgiving Stuffed Turkey
Curried Turkey Noodle Soup