Tomorrow is Thanksgiving! You know what that means… Macy’s Thanksgiving parade, mash potatoes, football, some pumpkin pie, preparing for Black Friday shopping… and of course TURKEY!
But why do we eat turkey on Thanksgiving anyway?
According to historians, when the colonists sat down to dine with the Wampanoag Indians in 1621, (which later became documented as the 1st Thanksgiving), turkey wasn’t even on the menu. There’s mention of “wild fowl” (such as ducks, swans, geese) and deer. This dinner was considered more of a religious ceremony than a dinner.
WAIT…So if colonists didn’t even eat turkey at the so called “1st Thanksgiving” then why do we grub on it now?
WELL, it wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln (you know him, the guy on the penny & 5 dollar bill) declared Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863 that turkey became a popular main dish. At that time, Americans were rediscovering the wonders of turkey. They were plentiful and native to the continent (‘Merica!) – and delicious.
Another reason we have turkey on Thanksgiving is that a turkey is large enough to feed all your hungry family members including crazy Aunt Pearl, Grandpa Joe and the kids table. Ha!
Scientific name: Meleagris…you be the judge on how to pronounce that
Female turkeys are called “hens” and do not gobble. Male turkeys are called “gobblers” and guess what… they GOBBLE.
Turkeys are closely related to the T-Rex and Velociraptor. They all share a pretty unique bit of skeleton. The furcular - AKA the wishbone. The furcular is a key component to avian flight and is the connection point for muscles and brace for the wings. Finding wishbones in dinosaurs AND turkeys means that they are basically cousins. Really, really distant cousins.
ALSO turkeys do fly.. well, wild turkeys that is.. IT’S A MIRACLE! They can soar for short bursts at a time up to 55mph.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING Y'ALL!