Do 'wild' turkeys tast better than heritage?

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by Cuttlefishherder, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. Cuttlefishherder

    Cuttlefishherder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are looking at getting our first turkeys and are looking at the 'wild' eastern strain from Welp hatchery. But we are pretty torn between wild, Burbons and Midgets. Whats better?
     
  2. beerman

    beerman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well a turkey living in the wild will taste a lot different then one you raise. As far as a eastern from a hatchery it will taste about the same as a heritage. They all do have their different tastes tho.
    Just my 2 bits. Brian
     
  3. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    I agree with Brian 100%, A "wild" turkey has a much better flavor than any farm raised. Even though it has the wild name from a hatchery it's still a domestic turkey. There have been a couple taste tests done and in every one I have seen the Midget White came out on top with the Bourbon Red 2nd. I don't remember seeing domesticated eastern wilds on the list though. Of the 6 varieties we raise I rank the top 2 the same as the taste tests, we eat turkey about once a week.

    Steve
     
  4. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have only seen one taste test where the MW won. It did not win compleatly by taste. Apearance was part of the judging. There is many articles on the same taste test. I think it is because people get use to the taste and looks of a BB turkey and a MW is 1/2 BB. I bet if a BB turkey was raised the same way it would have won too. There was no wild turkeys in the test. A Butterball full of salt water was also in the test. I have seen more taste test where a BR has won. I think cooking methods and how the turkey is raised and butched is just as important. There was alot of comments for the tasters that the turkeys in the taste test where bland but that the butter ball was salty by comparision.

    What I would like to see is a blind taste test. I find it unfair that the taste test had you judge the appearance. I like the ugly turkeys best.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  5. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From http://www.localharvest.org/farms/M19100?p=2

    Interesting
    information about Heritage Turkeys: - A fellow Washington heritage turkey farmer hosted a recent turkey taste test at the Dahlia Lounge in Seattle, WA. The event seated 50 people and sold out in 2 hours! Four different varieties of birds were roasted including the Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Midget White (all Heritage Breeds) and a Butterball (Broad Breasted White-commercially raised bird). In a blind taste test the Bourbon Red ranked first with qualities for superior taste, texture, and finest flavor.
     
  6. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:How do you rank the ones you have tasted?

    Steve
     
  7. Tunastopper

    Tunastopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have not ever tasted them side by side. I only cook one turkey at a time but I don't think any of the standard size heritage turkeys are better than others. Not enough of a difference to me to choose one over the other. I don't see how the feather color changes the taste anyway. I have heard some say they do not like the taste of a white bird. I am not sure I could taste the difference in a white bird over a colored one. I have some good and bad turkeys in all breeds. I only eat poultry and fish so we have alot of turkey. The biggest difference is the age of the turkey and how it is aged or cooked. I like a brined bird. Taste is very personal. I like the heritage turkeys or any home grown turkey, chickens and gamebirds, yet some of my family will not eat them. They think they taste strange, even the BBW turkeys. It is to different from what they are use to (supermarket birds). I think alot of people raise birds then want them to taste like a suppermarket turkey anyway. Read the meat bird board.

    The best turkey I ever ate was a older Narragansett. I don't think it was because of the breed. Everything about it was wonderful.

    I think Welps sells a assortment. Try some and see what you like best.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  8. Cuttlefishherder

    Cuttlefishherder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I love all of these responses, thank you guys!!!
     
  9. longranger

    longranger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have raised and eaten, MW,BR,Narri,RP,Spanish black,Slates, Mutts, Riogrande captive wild, Auburn, Heritage bronze and BBW. All the heritage birds were excellent and similar but the BR and MW were my favorites by the slimest of margins. The Broad Breasted White was inferior in texture and flavor. All birds were raised by me with the same feed and living conditions. Have not had the pleasure of tasting a wild turkey from the wild.
     
  10. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I have never eaten any of my Boubon Reds but after reading this thread, I'm starting to think that maybe I should cook one up for Thanksgiving.
     

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