Some holidays can be observed by nearly everyone, regardless of religious affiliation or ethnicity. Is Thanksgiving such a day?
After all, who could complain about having a national day set aside to give thanks and eat turkey? Alright, American Indians may not be so celebratory, but the casinos are open on holidays, too.
Traditions get molded and shaped through the decades and Thanksgiving became a uniquely American holiday based on a bird. The turkey.
Turkey is plentiful, inexpensive (relative to pounds eaten), and other than a few pounds of injected hormones to make them fat, good for you. No magazine photo of a Thanksgiving Day table is complete without a turkey, right?
So, what happened to the turkey?
These days a variety of turkeys have gone well beyond the baked and basted bird we know and love. There’s turkey chowder, turkey quesadilla, turkey hash, turkey fried rice, turkey dinner muffins, turkey mushroom casserole, turkey and vegetable lasagna, turkey and leek risotto, and tofurkey.
Of course, it’s necessary to start with a turkey first, hot and fresh out of the oven, carved, sliced, diced, and served until everyone in the family falls into a tryptophan-induced coma. Everyone knows there’s still going to be turkey leftover as family members awaken from the feast induced coma.
What to do with all that turkey?
Americans of all backgrounds are an imaginative group, living in a society which encourages free thought. How else do you explain turkey tetrazzine or turkey pho?
If Pacific fusion cuisine means a little of all foods from nations and states in the Pacific region all thrown together to create new tastes, then turkey explosion is what happens when turkey bits and parts and leftovers are thrown into every ethnic recipe.
Whatever happened to the turkey? Like Chickenman, it’s everywhere, it’s everywhere.