Turkey connoisseurs argue that a heritage turkey offers superior flavor that typical supermarket turkeys can’t even approximate. They also say it’s a good idea to buy birds from these historic breeds to keep them in demand—otherwise some breeds may become extinct.
Rodale.com’s Marian Burros taste-tested a number of different breeds several years ago on assignment from The New York Times. “When you taste it, you think, ‘Oh, this is why people like turkey. It’s not just something to put gravy on,'” she says.
Don’t be expecting to pay 69¢ a pound for them, though, as you might find for generic birds at some grocery stores this time of year. Heritage turkey prices will generally range from $4 to more than $10 per pound. But if you can afford the splurge, you’ll be rewarded with incredible flavor and you’ll be supporting farmers who humanely raise historical breeds that help preserve genetic diversity, and keep our food system more secure.
Some of the turkey breeds the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy is helping to protect include: Black, Bronze, Narragansett, White Holland, Slate, and Bourbon Red.
To learn more, read the full story, which tells you where to find them, how to cook them, and the three main reasons why you should consider buying one.
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