Beer-can chicken, move over: Beer-drinking turkeys have arrived.
Joe Morette of Hennikey, N.H., has allowed his turkeys for sale to sip suds since 1993, The Associated Press reported
. That’s when a turkey accidentally knocked a can over that belonged to a worker at the end of the day. The turkey liked the beer and Morette said his customers like the beer-fed turkeys.
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Dan Bourque, a Manchester attorney, is one of them.
"We find the gravy is much darker, and much tastier," he told the AP. "The bird overall has a slightly different taste that is very appealing."
Bourque, a longtime customer, said the turkeys beat supermarket varieties.
Morette, who has 50 turkeys for sale this upcoming holiday, said he prefers to serve the turkeys lager over ale. The result? Turkeys are more flavorful, juicer, and fatter as a result of their taste for alcohol.
"Oh, yeah, it's noticeable," he said. "It's not a strong, gamey flavor, it's a nice turkey flavor."
PETA cried foul on serving alcohol to poultry. The animal rights group told the AP the practice was questionable and an effort by farmers “to keep costs down or to alter the taste of animals' flesh because their priority is profit, not the animals' welfare."
Not so fast, countered Kathi Brock, national director of Humane Heartland, which oversees the treatment of farm animals.
"I consulted with an avian veterinarian who said that while giving beer to turkeys is not a standard protocol, hops could be beneficial for the intestinal tract," Brock told USA Today
Still, in a matter of weeks, the poultry will give up their beer and go cold turkey, in more ways than one.
Online commenters supported the beer guzzling turkeys.
“These turkeys have short lives before they are slaughtered for food,” wrote one poster at USA Today. “If they enjoy a few beer here or there, how is that not humane? PETA just wants to create non-issues.”
Wrote another: “Which begs the question...on Thanksgiving Day who's going to have the most beer in them the turkey in the oven or the turkey lying on the couch watching football games."
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