Wednesday Nov 21, 2007

Learning about your food, in this case GSRA674

My wife Katie and I are hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time, as it just didn't work out for us to travel down to Southern California. A few weeks ago I ordered a heritage turkey from Bi-Rite Market, a chichi small grocery in the Mission here in San Francisco.

"Heritage" is to turkeys what "heirloom" is to tomatoes, breeds that had been forgotten about as agriculture became mechanized in the 20th century. Supposedly they have a richer taste, and more dark meat, than your standard turkey. My turkey apparently came from Good Shepard Turkey Ranch, in Kansas.

My bird came with a tracking number, GSRA674, which allows you to look up where it came from. It was sort of odd finding out personal information about the food you're going to eat (mine was born last spring, and was killed--or "met its final destiny" as they put it on the website--when it was 24 weeks old). I, like most Americans, am not used to associating the food I consume with the farms and ranches where it's grown.

Good ol' GSRA674 is currently brining in my refrigerator in a lime green tub I bought last spring, when good ol' GSRA674 was but a young hatchling. I got the tub for my friend Ashwin's "Thanksgiving in May" party. He basically really wanted leftover turkey to make something he calls toastettes (turkey sandwiches sealed in an iron contraption and roasted over the fire, something like a meat pie I guess), and found an excuse to do so. That's where I first tried brining, and the turkeys we made were incredible.

About

I am a writer on the Java EE team at Oracle, primarily working on the Java EE Tutorial. My areas of expertise are enterprise beans, Java Persistence, web services, and the case studies.

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