Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and with it comes long overdue family visits, uncomfortable political debates and, most importantly, bountiful piles of food. Indeed, it’s the latter aspect of the holiday that elicits the most mirth out of us all. And what better way to provide such feasts than to roast autumn’s favorite bird: the turkey.
Well, I’ll tell you what. Almost anything else would be a better main course than a turkey.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a good turkey in my life, and there are two reasons why. For starters, turkey always comes out dry. It’s as if the fowl has some personal vendetta against moisture. You can cook it any way you like; roast it, saute it, grill it, broil it or bake it—it doesn’t matter. That bird you’ve slaved over for hours will be drier than the Sahara, I guarantee it. And the worst part? You’re never certain of its quality until you put a slice in your mouth. Only then will you realize that all your work produced pounds of meat that has a texture similar to sawdust and is only half as appetizing.
The other problem, arguably more important than the first, is taste. Turkey tastes bad; it’s a fact. Whereas the rendered fat from other meat delicacies adds to their flavor, turkey fat is a black hole of taste and adds nothing to your palette when you indulge in it. There’s a reason everyone douses the turkey on their plates in gravy; it’s a vain attempt to bolster the fowl’s nonexistent flavor. For whatever reason, attempts at basting a turkey results in all that flavor evaporating into the ether.
Only one hope remains for our ill-fated bird: the deep-fryer. I will concede that deep frying your turkey is the only way to create a delectable dish. The caveat is that you’re more than likely going to burn your house down attempting to do so. According to the National Fire Protection Association, deep-fryer related accidents are responsible for the destruction of over 900 houses nationwide, and those are a result of smaller cooking endeavors. Now, imagine dropping a 15 pound hunk of frozen turkey into a vat of boiling hot oil. Yeah, not pretty.
Alas, dear meat-eaters, I see no redemption for the Thanksgiving icon. My recommendation is simple: eat something else. My family has always made a brisket for the holiday, slow-cooking it in a savory sauce for hours in the oven while we partake in other festivities. Not once has anyone complained that there was no turkey there, as any protest would be stifled with the immaculate flavor of an actually good tasting dish.
Teddy Droar is a junior majoring in psychology.