(Image: John Cullen)
We’re a city obsessed with eating local, and when it comes to planning the biggest dinner of the year, we’re even more devoted. The ubiquitous Butterball, with its yellow and blue shrink wrap, used to provide a comforting barrier between us and the realization that our bird was once, in fact, a bird—with feathers, a beak and a snood (the floppy nose appendage of unknown use). Nowadays, that packaging evokes images of factory farm torture. So we’ll happily pay premium prices to know our turkey was raised in a pesticide-free pasture within a couple hundred kilometres of the city, where it munched organic feed and cavorted with other dignified turkeys. If it happens to descend from a 50-year-old Saskatchewan-born flock and come with certified ancestry papers, Yahtzee! We’ll pay even more. And it’s worth it. Heritage breeds like the Bourbon Red and the Bronze have darker meat (the Broad-Breasted Whites in grocery stores have been genetically modified for Dolly Parton–like proportions) and fuller flavour. All of which means when you’re lying on the couch in a tryptophan-induced torpor, the only thing you’ll feel guilty about is that second helping of stuffing.
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