Thursday, November 27, 2008

Turkey

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Turkeys are native to the United States and Mexico and are a food that was part of the traditional culture of the native Americans. Christopher Columbus brought turkeys back with him to Europe upon his return from the New World and by the 16th century, turkeys were being domestically raised in Italy, France and England. At first, they were reserved for the banquet tables of royalty, but they soon became more widespread throughout societies.

Turkey has long been associated with American history. Think turkey and images of Pilgrims and Thanksgiving dinners are evoked. Benjamin Franklin must have felt that the turkey was all-American because he wanted it to be our national bird and was upset when the eagle was chosen instead. But the turkey as an icon of America and freedom doesn't stop there - Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin ate roasted turkey (well, space food roasted turkey) as part of their first meal on the moon.

Today, the countries that consume the most turkey per person include Israel, the United States, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands.

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