Heritage Turkey Taste Test

Subject: Heritage Turkeys Prove Superior In Flavor
For Immediate Release
Heritage Turkeys Prove Superior In Flavor
Pittsboro, NC:

On February 25, 2008, approximately 70 food professionals,chefs, food writers, and food connoisseurs gathered at Ayrshire Farm in Upperville, VA, to participate in a blind tasting comparing one industrialand eight heritage varieties of turkey. The purpose of the event was to give a fair and parallel comparison of nine varieties of turkey to determine which, if any, stand out in flavor.
This unique event was conducted blind, with each turkey variety cut into bite-sized pieces in covered dishes at numbered stations. Numbered toothpicks and scorecards were provided to aid in evaluating the turkeys. Additionally, whole, roasted turkeys were placed on a table, with their corresponding number, so that appearance could be appraised as well.

The turkeys were scored based on flavor, texture, tenderness, smell, and appearance. After tasting the turkeys, the enthusiastic crowd was asked to vote fortheir favorite number before the varieties were revealed. Each of the nine turkeys had supporters, but when the tally was over all eight of the heritage turkey varieties came out ahead of the industrial variety - a Butterball.

The clear winner in this historical tasting was the Midget White turkey, with second place going to the Bourbon Red. The top two favorites each received nearly twice as many votes as any of the other turkey varieties.

The heritage turkey varieties tasted were the Royal Palm, Chocolate, Slate, Narragansett, Bronze, Bourbon Red, Midget White, and Black. Heritage turkeys are noted for slow to moderate rate of growth and are considered rare by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. All but two of the varieties - the standard Bronze and the Butterball - had been grown on Ayrshire Farm, fed organic feed, and raised and processed humanely, following Humane Farm Animal Care's standards.

This event was the largest comparison of turkey varieties to date and was an opportunity for several of the turkey varieties to be "boarded" onto the Slow Food USA Ark of Taste - a designation recognizing unique culinary flavors and traditions. Invitees enjoyed being present at an Ark boarding,and heartily endorsed the worthiness of the Slate, Royal Palm, and Midget White turkey varieties.

Turkey Tasting - An Historical Event was produced through a partnership ofthe American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Humane Farm Animal Care, SlowFood USA, and Ayrshire Farm.

For more information on the turkey varieties, placings, hosting organizations, or turkey facts, visit:

Don SchriderCommunication DirectorThe American Livestock Breeds ConservancyP.O. Box 477Pittsboro, NC 27312(919) 542-5704editor@albc-usa.orgwww.albc-usa.org THE AMERICAN LIVESTOCK BREEDS CONSERVANCY, founded in 1977, is a non-profitmembership organization working to protect over 150 breeds of cattle, goats,horses, asses, sheep, pigs, rabbits and poultry from extinction. It is thepioneer organization in the U.S. working to conserve heritage breeds andgenetic diversity in livestock.


Anonymous said...

I have been wanting to raise turkey for the local direct market but was not sure which one. Now, I have my midget white's ordered and intend to keep them all for breeding next year. Sounds as though it's a very worthy breed to save and raise.

Anonymous said...

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