Thanksgiving is rapidly approaching, so let’s talk turkey!

An astounding number of turkeys are cooked on Thanksgiving; an estimated 46 million turkeys was the count for Thanksgiving 2009. But the bird that has become so closely linked with the holiday may or may not have been enjoyed at the “First” Thanksgiving. So why do we eat turkey?

Some logical reasons are that the turkey was very common in the American North East in the Pilgrim’s time, one bird could feed a lot of people, and it wasn’t useful in other ways like chickens or cows. So, they were eaten frequently, but not in association with any particular event. The tie between Thanksgiving and turkey grew over time. Turkeys were seen as so American, (they are only found in North America), that Benjamin Franklin preferred them for a national bird. It’s no wonder they’ve come to be seen as an appropriate culinary element for a holiday with strong ties to the founding of America.

We hope you enjoy your turkey (or tofurkey!) this Thanksgiving!