This Thanksgiving, for both gourmets and ordinary foodies alike, the heritage breeds' rich flavor will be worth both the cost and the time it took for the turkeys to be raised naturally to their market weight.
According to the Heritage Turkey Foundation, these turkeys are the ancestors of the common broad-breasted breed that is found in most supermarkets today.
They say that the Heritage breeds were developed in the United States and Europe over hundreds of years, and became nearly extinct by 1990. They have been slowly re-introduced to the marketplace and are available here in Northern Westchester—directly from farms and through local markets.
For those who may not be interested in this “boutique” variety of turkey for their holiday table, there are certainly many options when ordering your bird. Whatever you choose, it is good advice to order early; some local vendors have already sold out.
Check with poultry vendors at your community's farmers market or try one of these nearby spots:
Hemlock Hill Farm 500 Croton Ave., Cortlandt Manor, 914-737-2810
This farm sells the Broad-Breasted White variety. The farm’s Vice President Laura DeMaria says the turkeys are free-range, humanely-raised and are noticeably different from the plump, fast-growing type of turkey. She says her farm supplies about 900 turkeys to the community each year and has done so for the past 30 years.
Price: $4.69 per pound and can be ordered by phone
11 Babbitt Rd., Bedford Hills, 914-241-0269
Owner Cynthia Brennan says this is their third year selling Heritage breed turkeys and the demand has been steady. They are offering turkeys from Meadowland Farm in Clinton Corners: Bronze Heritage, Standard Bronze and Bourbon Red
Price: $14-$16.50 per pound
Also for sale: organic, free-range turkeys: $8.50 per pound and “natural” which are not certified organic, but are humanely-raised for $6.75 per pound.
666 Lexington Ave., Mount Kisco, 914-242-9292
Available to order are Murray’s All-Natural at $3.29 per pound and Eberly’s Organic at $3.99 per pound
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture 30 Bedford Rd., Pocantico Hills, 914-366-6200
A spokesperson from Stone Barns say they have sold out, having taken close to 300 orders of Bourbon Red Heritage turkeys this year—they will not take further orders.
Scaglio’s 127 Katonah Ave., Katonah, 914-232-9444
This neighborhood marketplace and butcher is offering Eberly Organic Turkeys and Bell & Evans organic and will take orders for Heritage turkeys upon request. Also available: quail, pheasant, duck and other game birds.
To connect directly with a farm for your order, you can visit localharvest.org—the site will direct you to regional suppliers.
What's your turkey preference? Take our poll below.
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