Turkey Lovers Month is upon us

Turkey is a staple of the holiday dinner table, a favorite when it comes to sandwiches, and who doesn’t enjoy the occasional roasted turkey leg. In fact, turkey even has its own month of appreciation with June being designated National Turkey Lovers Month.

According to the Southeast Ag Net Radio Network website at http://southeastagnet.com, while it would seem November would be the month to celebrate dining on turkey, two-thirds of the turkeys produced annually are actually consumed during the other 11 months of the year.

The PR Newswire website at https://www.prnewswire.com states “when Americans fire-up their grills for summertime meals, turkey will be seared, roasted, braised and smoked like never before – featuring everything from kabobs, sausages and tenderloins to cutlets and turkey burgers.”

The PR Newswire website claims the National Turkey Federation states 39 percent of consumers are more likely now than two years ago to enjoy turkey in addition to the holiday dinner celebrations, showing in upswing in the popularity of turkey as a year-round dish.

Some different recipes for preparing turkey can be found at https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov including turkey chili, turkey wraps, turkey loaf, turkey pitas and turkey ala king.

Turkey can also be used as a substitute for beef in many recipes. Turkey burgers are not uncommon at summer cookouts, and turkey has even been used as the main ingredient in sausages. In fact, turkey can be used in most recipes in place of beef.

The website http://www.gone-ta-pott.com provides a number of suggestions for serving turkey, such as:

• Quick-cooking cutlets served with mashed potatoes and corn or paired with your favorite vegetables;

• Sausage;

• Tenderloins, perfect cooked any way but popular served with onions and gravy;

• Turkey ham;

• Turkey hot dog franks;

• Turkey deli meats for lunch sandwiches.

Of course, many in southeastern Kentucky and the surrounding area hunt turkeys in the wild when they are in season. However, wild turkey tastes quite different from the store bought birds.

“Wild turkeys, while technically the same species as domesticated turkeys, have a very different taste from farm-raised turkeys,” states an article on www.gone-ta-pott.com. “Almost all of the meat is “dark” (even the breast) with a more intense flavor. The flavor can also vary seasonally with changes in available forage, often leaving wild turkey meat with a more significant game flavor in late summer due to the greater number of insects in the diet over the preceding months. Wild turkey that has fed predominantly on grass and grain has a far milder flavor.”