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Nov 20, 2012 05:11 PM

Wild turkey

I'm constantly told wild turkey tastes different from the domesticated variety sold in stores, which I dislike. Does anyone know where I could buy some? The closer to Alexandria, the better. I would prefer to buy carved portions (breasts, thighs, etc.) rather than a whole bird.

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  1. You can not buy wild turkey in a store. Or wild anything. The game you buy in stores and restaurants that comes from this country is not wild, it is farm raised. It discourages poaching. Also a retailer wouldn't know how the meat was harvested/butchered by the hunter or how it was cared for before it got to the retailer.

    1. Actually, you can buy farm-raised wild turkey. Just as you can buy farm-raised venison. Will it taste the same as an actual wild-turkey shot by a hunter (or hit by a car)? Don't know. In any case, it will probably take more than 2 days prior to Thanksgiving to find wild turkey already killed and dressed.

      Don't know of any stores in this area that sell it.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Just Visiting

        "Farm-raised wild" in an oxymoron devised by ingenious marketing departments. If it's been raised on a farm, that's "farm raised" not "wild". The birds live in confined outdoor areas, and can be caged in heated indoor areas, and are fed a regulated diet that can include meat bone scrap, whey, fish meal, and antibiotics. Yum.

        1. re: crackers

          True, but what they are selling is not the selectively-bred bird with the enormous amount of breast meat. What they are selling is phenotypically and genetically a wild bird. The link I provided is to a company that claims that the birds forage freely and are also given alfalfa, hay, and barley. They are not given antibiotics. So I guess it depends on how purist you want to be. The only way to get truly wild turkey is to go out and hunt, or make friends with someone who hunts.

          1. re: Just Visiting

            I think JV managed to capture my goal:
            Avoid genetically-enhanced, hormone-injected, fattened domestic turkey.
            In other words, buy turkey that is raised as close as possible to how it would be in the wild.

            This is not needed for the holiday, just to sate my own curiosity, so delivery time is not an issue.

      2. Look for a heritage turkey vendor in your area (I'm in the SF Bay Area). The birds are active, they run and fly. They're built like ballet dancers - big thighs, small breasts. They have a deep, rich turkey flavor. I cooked one last year to compare, and the breast meat of the heritage bird was darker than the dark meat of the domesticated variety.
        The turkeys in the video on the website look a lot like the ones who roam up and down my street every morning and evening. They were a novelty a few years back but their numbers have grown so much, it's kind of spooky. They have captured my dog's interest, though.

        2 Replies
          1. re: bzookaj

            Darn, and to think I clicked on here just knowing we were gonna talk liquor!!! ;)