Gobble, gobble. This June, yes June, celebrate Turkey Lovers Month with one of the most popularly consumed meats in America. It’s more than just a holiday dish! Cooking options range from seared, roasted, and braised — to smoked, grilled, and baked. Thus, turkey offers a wide variety of choices for how to prepare your favorite dish. Enjoy the start of summer with a delectable turkey dish fit for any occasion. It’s easy to cook, rich in protein, and just delicious to eat.
Turkey Lovers Month - History
Turkeys in Europe
Spanish traders first brought turkeys to Europe.
Turkey is a coat of arms.
The English navigator William Strickland, who had introduced the turkey to England, was granted a turkey-themed coat of arms. It's thought to be the first depiction of the bird in Europe.
Turkeys came to North America
Native Americans first used turkeys for meat.
Turkeys were tamed in Mexico.
Turkey was first cooked
Humans used wild turkey for their meat.
Turkey Lovers Month Activities
1. Host a potluck
Invite guests to bring their favorite turkey dish. Whether it’s chili, sausage, or just a clean cut to throw on the grill, you can expect to find a delicious turkey dish to kick off summer.
2. Explore new turkey recipes
With countless methods available to cook turkey, explore new possibilities. Experiment with seasoning, sauces, and preparations.
3. Save for the holidays
Turkey can be stored in the freezer (unopened and uninterrupted) for up to three years and still be safe to cook. For the best quality, it’s recommended that you use the frozen turkey within seven months of storage.
4 Tasty Turkey Facts
1. Turkeys are an American icon
Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.
2. Turkeys can be quite large
The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.
3. Turkeys are surprisingly fast
Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.
4. Americans love their turkey
The numbers: 45 million turkeys consumed each Thanksgiving; 22 million each Christmas; and 19 million each Easter.
Why We Love Turkey Lovers Month
A. Turkey is incredibly versatile
Turkey meat’s texture absorbs flavors well in cooking, which allows for a plethora of options — including roasted, brined, smoked, and grilled.
B. Turkey is one healthy bird
Turkey is lower in cholesterol than most other meats, especially red meats, and has a much better proportion of unsaturated fats to saturated fats than chicken. Per portion, turkey meat contains more protein per gram than beef, pork, and chicken.
C. Tryptophan is a good thing
Turkey is high in tryptophan, an amino acid that helps regulate sleep, and control your sleep-wake cycle. Tryptophan helps to improve sleep quality, reduce awakenings, and increase REM sleep.