Poultry with a European passport
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Thanksgiving and rise in popularity of turkey meat

Thanksgiving and rise in popularity of turkey meat

We have all seen photos of a family sitting around a big table, in the centre of which we can spot a tasty-looking roast turkey. Most of us would identify these images with American Thanksgiving Day. Turkey meat is also known outside the American continent – the European Union is a major producer of turkey meat and turkey dishes are often served on European tables. It should be added that they are more varied than what we know from Thanksgiving.

We have to admit that it is thanks to the American customs that the popularity of turkey meat is growing all over the world. In the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and in Canada on the second Monday in October. The origins of this holiday date back to 1621, when the residents of the Plymouth colony in the future United States celebrated a good harvest. The idea of celebrating this day was due to the fact that a year earlier the harvest was very poor, so a significant number of the colonists who had come to Plymouth that year did not survive the winter. The following year’s harvest was very abundant, which prompted the farmers to celebrate it. During the first celebrations of this holiday, it was not turkey that appeared on the table, but waterfowl, like goose or duck. Over time, turkeys became more and more popular, first wild, then farmed.

Undoubtedly, Thanksgiving Day contributes to the global popularity of this meat. Until recently, turkey was practically absent in China, due to the fact that these birds did not naturally inhabit the Asian continent. Their production on a larger scale developed only in the nineteenth and twentieth century in the Americas and Europe, but it did not reach China. Currently, consumption of this type of meat in China increases significantly in the autumn months, as shown by the structure of import volumes by month[1]. In recent years there has been a clear upward trend in turkey meat imports from the European Union.

Turkey meat tastes good in any form: stewed, cooked, roasted, fried, grilled, served hot or cold, spicy, but also sweet. The number of dishes that can be prepared from turkey is very high. This kind of meat is appreciated for the fact that it can be used to prepare dishes with countless flavours. Breast meat is often used to prepare meals. A simple and quick way to prepare it is to fry thinly chopped turkey fillets in butter with added garlic and lemon juice. This combination is appreciated by foodies all over the world.

Inspirational recipes for turkey can be found on the ‘Poultry with European passport’ campaign website. We encourage you to try them out and share your opinion or photos with us using the contact form!

[1] https://agridata.ec.europa.eu/extensions/DashboardPoultry/PoultryTrade.html