Thanksgiving is a high-end gourmet turkey

Thanksgiving is a high-end gourmet turkey
By long tradition, central Thanksgiving was purchased by a solid, frozen, and cheap.

This is beginning to change. Turkeys are going to Godiva.

Same passion for food that brought us delicacies and trucks swelled TV ratings show cooking increased the demand for high society turkey with bizarre names, and even an amateur price tags - $ 150 for the valuable Bourbon Red heritage diversity.

"People want a bird that has a name, origin, and ancestry - the birds, you can brag about," said Kathy Gori, 60-year-old screenwriter who divides his time between Sonoma and Santa Monica.

Lindsay Kalev of Redondo Beach usually steers of luxury goods in the store, but was willing to pay extra for a brand of organic Diestel turkey in Whole Foods.

"I do not eat organic every day of the year - I wish I could afford," said Kalev, 28, who helped create the graphics for advertising. "But Thanksgiving time, when we truly appreciate the food that we do. I was ready to spend a few extra dollars for it."

If you have not bought a prize bird by now, it's probably too late. Many vendors say they are sold.

"My phone is ringing nonstop," said Mary Pittman, whose family raises turkeys heritage, the most expensive of the elite classes, on a farm near Fresno. "All in the mad hunt for heritage turkeys, and there's almost not enough left for my own family. This is the most popular birds in the U.S."

Despite the growing appetite for premium classes, most of the 46 million turkeys that the National Federation of Turkey said the Americans will eat on this Thanksgiving will be purchased for only 50 cents a pound at local supermarkets.

Trade group does not break down sales of fancy poultry, but retailers, farmers and customers all say that demand is growing.

Heritage Foods USA, which sells online and ships turkeys via FedEx, said he sold all of its 6000 heritage birds, despite the $ 150 price for a 22-pounder. Sales of poultry by 82% from last year, the company said.

Whole Foods, which operates 300 upscale markets across the country, said that sales of organic turkeys has tripled in the last three years and now accounts for about 40% of the turkey chain sales.

"Customers are much more in food than they were several years ago because of the food magazines and TV shows," said Theo Weening, global meat coordinator for Whole Foods. "People want to know where the bird came from, what breed he is, as he was raised. "

Standard frozen turkeys, which are sometimes stored in the refrigerator for six months or more, usually cost less than $ 2 per pound. Some supermarkets are even considering them away as part of buying incentive for the customer.

In addition, there are four main varieties of high quality.

Free-range birds that have access to the street, start at about $ 3 per pound. Next up the ladder are organic gobblers, which usually sell at least $ 4 pounds and are certified by the USDA for their chemical free feed and processing.

Heirloom turkeys next step up, and the type of which date back more than a century before the first domesticated species.

Heritage turkeys cost of most, is about $ 6 to $ 12 per pound. They are comparable to the wild species are used for the original Thanksgiving, and allowed to live months longer than most turkeys, helping them to develop more flavor and dark meat, as a result of hard work in the open air and fly.

According to the Heritage Foundation of Turkey, there are a limited number of species - including Bourbon Red, Jersey Buff and Black Spanish - which are considered heritage birds.

"They are small, tiny fraction compared with the industrial turkeys are raised," said Roger Mastrude, president of the foundation. "There is great demand than there is supply."

Birds and more expensive to raise, because it takes up to 30 weeks to get them to market weight, almost twice that for a supermarket bird.

"The prices for bread and fuel is about to kill us," said Pittman, Fresno-area breeder who markets her the bird under the name of Mary Turkeys. "We hope that our chickens to help us break even."

Turkey enthusiasts say that the upper tier of turkeys, as a rule, less dry and have more flavor, though some say that the heritage turkey can be a bit on the gamy side.

"All this goes back to the taste", Weening of Whole Foods said. "There's a huge difference."

Food and nutrition writer expert Christine Wartman, 32, said recently that her mother was driving from Irvine to Hollywood Farmers Market to pick up the heritage turkey for the holiday meal of the family.

Most of the turkeys on Thanksgiving Day has sold out of the close of poultry farms, where they flew with hormones and antibiotics, Wartman said. She co-founded the effort she calls up a large Food and tormented by 700 signatures on an open letter calling for a boycott of buyers selling brand Butterball.

Butterball has not responded to requests for comment.

With all the noise of a higher grade of turkeys, Kelly Lee decided to buy a brand Silverlake turkey Trader Joe `s raised without hormones and natural foods.

But family tradition calls for the bird to buy hard as a bowling ball from a supermarket. So she took a frozen turkey too.

"They are so good," said Lee, 33, who runs the fashion blog "I grew up with Butterballs, so for me this Thanksgiving Day."

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