The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 10.13.03


Giving thanks for turkey trivia

The truth is out. Turkey doesn't make you tired, it's the fact that when you combine it with all those carbohydrates and starch that napping messages are released to your brain and you feel sleepy.

Amino acids in turkey are partly to blame but so are the pumpkin pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy. It could be that the simple act of overeating is the primary cause of weariness. I'm sure you will agree that when you stuff your face you feel like a stuffed turkey that deserves a nap. Here is what one insightful person had to say.

"Thanksgiving is America's national chow-down feast, the one occasion each year when gluttony becomes a patriotic duty (in France, by contrast, there are three such days: Hier, Aujourd'hui and Demain)."

And now the answer to why Canadian thanksgiving is earlier in Canada;

Unlike the United States, Canada's thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October and is celebrated to give thanks for a successful harvest as opposed to celebrating the arrival of pilgrims. In Canada, the harvest season comes earlier due to the simple fact that we are further north.

Here is all the turkey stuff you need to know:

  • In 2002, the average North American ate 17.75 pounds of turkey.

    The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.

  • A 15-pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.

  • Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.

  • Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.

  • Six hundred seventy-five million pounds of turkey are eaten each Thanksgiving in the United States.

  • Male turkeys gobble. Hens do not. They make a clicking noise.

  • Turkey breeding has caused turkey breasts to grow so large that the turkeys fall over.

  • The five most popular ways to serve leftover turkey is as a sandwich, stew or soup, salad, casserole, and stir-fry. On that note, here is a classic soup recipe to make use of your leftovers while napping. Simmer away!
Ma's turkey soup

1 turkey carcass; skin and giblets
1 large onion; sliced
3 to 4 carrots; sliced
3 to 4 stalks celery with leaves; chopped
1 onion; sliced
1 tbsp parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Two handfuls of egg noodles (about two cups)

Put turkey bones, skin. and giblets in a large pot and cover with water. Add onion, bring to a boil and simmer for several hours. Strain. Skim off fat and pick meat from bones. Put stock and meat back into the pot and add the remaining ingredients.

Simmer until the vegetables are done. Add noodles ten minutes before serving.