Turkey still reigns as the king of main dish meats on Thanksgiving, when more than 46 million of the colossal birds will be consumed. But whether they realize it or not, Americans are eating more turkey than ever beyond Thanksgiving, which is Nov. 24 this year.
“We know that consumers are eating turkey all year long,” said Sherrie Rosenblatt, the National Turkey Federation’s vice president of marketing and communications. “Turkey will be at the cen-ter of just about every-one’s Thanksgiving meal, but another way we are enjoying turkey is as our favorite protein between two slices of bread.”
And one thing is certain, according to Rosenblatt. Turkey is an ideal meat for foodies.
“It is such an American tradition to have turkey at the center of your plate for Thanksgiving, so finding other ways to use this nutrient-rich protein in a variety of different ways all year long is not only important to foodies, but to everyday moms who would like to include turkey in their meal rotations,” Rosen-blatt said.
On Thanksgiving, roasted turkey is still tops, but Rosenblatt said deep fat frying is gaining ground, both for Thanksgiving and year-round.
For Thanksgiving, most families will enjoy a full bird prepared in the traditional way, but for meals beyond big holidays, more consumers are turning to turkey tenderloin. Rosenblatt said turkey tender-loins are a blank canvass that can be used in Italian, Asian or Southwestern cuisines. Plus, turkey deli meat and ground turkey are eaten by consumers year-round. And turkey bacon also is a popular choice for many.
“In its effort to encourage consumers to eat more turkey, the Turkey Federation has an ‘Up-grade it with Turkey’ campaign where busy moms can find ways to upgrade traditional meals by switching the protein to a turkey product and also look at carbohydrates, condiments and side dishes so they can lower calories and fats and not sacrifice taste,” Rosenblatt said.
“Our website, EatTurkey.com, has everything you want to know about purchasing and preparing your turkey for Thanks-giving and even what to do with the leftovers,” she added. “It also gives ideas on the variety of other ways turkey can be a part of every meal from breakfast to lunch to dinner.”