Outside Scoop: Turkey Time
Here in America, we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday. It’s a celebration of feast and family, and has taken on many different meanings and representations over the years. The date also changes as Thanksgiving is the third Thursday of November each year.
The national holiday is a celebration of the autumn harvest feast. For more than two centuries this day has been honored in the United States in various forms. Today, you might recognize the traditional with a turkey and certain side dishes and desserts that are prepared by various family and friends. Thanksgiving is the celebration of a bountiful meal with joy. And, today, it is often associated with the iconic Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, football, family, friends and food.
In America, a Thanksgiving turkey is often served with the traditional sides of mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, greens, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, all foods harvested and available this time of year. While most folks will go get a turkey at a grocery store or butcher or farm, there are actually wild turkey in 49 American States.
The Merriam’s wild turkey typically is located throughout the Rocky Mountains and the neighboring prairies of Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota. This breed also enjoys the high mesas of New Mexico, Arizona, southern Utah and The Navajo Nation. In North America there are six specific breeds of turkey and a few hybrids, but here in the Vail Valley and Eagle County we only see the Merriam’s and the Rio Grande Turkey.
The National Turkey Federation, NTF estimates that approximately 46 million turkeys are eaten at Thanksgiving. The holiday is followed by 22 million turkeys at Christmas and 19 million at Easter. According to a report by NTF, 95% of Americans who were surveyed eat turkey at Thanksgiving.
Did you know that Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia? Canada’s Thanksgiving is held on the second Monday in October, which also celebrates the harvest and other blessings of the past year. It’s been an annual holiday in Canada since Nov. 6, 1879.