Thanksgiving is fast approaching! If you want your feast to impress, you'd better start planning now. Remember last year when you were cooking that expired frozen lasagna twenty minutes before everyone arrived, and the only thing you had to drink was Kool-Aid and tequila? Yeah, we don't want a repeat of that disaster.
Let's start with the main attraction: the turkey. With no shortage of grocery stores it's possible to find a wide, healthy selection of gobblers in Atlanta. Here's the best turkeys in town for your Thanksgiving smorgasbord, presented with a healthy dose of snark courtesy of yours truly.
- Most Politically Connected
- Bell and Evans Fresh Brined Turkey - $2.29/lb (Whole Foods Market [Buckhead, Midtown, and other locations]) : This has been the bird of choice at the White House for the past 40 years. These free-range turkeys are bred in such a way that they have 54% more white meat than usual, and they come brined in a tasty mix of salt, brown sugar, orange oil, and other spices.
- Most Fun to Buy
- Koch's Naturally Raised Turkey - (Your Dekalb Farmers Market [Decatur]) : If you've never been to YDFM, I have one word for you: go. A trip here is like a field trip for foodies, and it's still fascinating even if you're not a Food Network addict. The turkey offering isn't bad either. These birds from the Koch farm in Pennsylvania lead cushy lives before serving as your centerpiece, as they're raised free-range and without antibiotics, hormones, or stimulants.
- Most Likely to Request a Wood Stove
- TFM Fresh Turkey - $2.49/lb (The Fresh Market (Buckhead, East Cobb, and Dunwoody]) : The turkeys at Fresh Market are raised in the heart of Pennsylvania's Amish Country. In addition to never receiving antibiotics or hormones, these birds are given 30% more room to roam than conventional practice. I like my turkey well traveled!
- Most Pleasing to a Rabbi
- All Natural Glatt Kosher Turkey - $2.49/lb (Trader Joe's [Buckhead, Midtown, and other locations]) : These birds come brined in Kosher salt, ensuring a succulent bite. It's up to you to remember to set the timer. And of course, there are no artificial ingredients, growth hormones, or antibiotics.
- Most Pedigreed
- Heritage Turkey - $7.75/lb (Star Provisions [Atlanta's Westside]) : Perfection comes at a price, as evidenced by the Heritage Turkeys available at Star Provisions. The folks at the Good Shepard Poultry Ranch in Lindsborg, Kansas produce what could be the Rolls-Royce of turkeys. To be deemed a heritage turkey, one has to meet a set of exacting criteria related to mating habits, lifespan, and growth rates.
- Most Lacking in Meat
- Tofurky® - (Return to Eden, Sevananda [Cheshire Bridge Road and Little Five Points, respectively]) : Being vegetarian doesn't mean sitting it out November 24th! Since 1995, Tofurky® has been providing the meat averse with a tasty turkey substitute. Their Tofurky Roast® is made of a tofu-wheat protein blend, and comes stuffed with wild rice and whole grain bread crumb stuffing. Yummo!