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Frequently Asked Questions about our Heritage Black Turkey: Learn why it's so special and how to prepare it!

Frequently Asked Questions about our Heritage Black Turkey: Learn why it's so special and how to prepare it!

October 01, 2018

Why is a Heritage Black Turkey better than a regular turkey?

Joyce Farms' Heritage Black Turkey is an old breed, with a rich legacy descended from the traditional Spanish Black Turkey. It’s fitting, then, to serve our Heritage Black Turkey to your family and friends during the holiday season because the Spanish Black Turkey is believed to be what the Pilgrims feasted on at the first Thanksgiving, and it’s thought to be one of the first breeds developed from Native American stocks.

But it’s not just continuing the legacy that began with the Pilgrims that will make your holiday meal special. The Heritage Black Turkey is renowned for its exceptional flavor, far surpassing the bland flavor of today’s factory-bred turkeys. And we raise our turkeys in the old-world tradition, slowly, over time, with an all-natural diet to make them healthier, too.

What do you mean by “old-world tradition”?

All of our poultry is raised to our “Naked” standards. This means no antibiotics, no artificial ingredients, no hormones or steroids, and no animal by-products. Each turkey is allowed to mature slowly and naturally, roaming free on our small family-run farms in the Southeast.

How will my Heritage Black Turkey be delivered and how should I store it?

After processing them by hand, each of our Heritage Black Turkeys is air chilled to preserve its flavor, tenderness and perfect texture. It arrives via UPS to your door in a reusable, Styrofoam cooler with dry ice or reusable gel packs.

The dry ice can be evaporated after delivery. It is possible that your turkey will begin to defrost during shipment. However, as long as the turkey remains partially frozen, you can refreeze it safely in your freezer.

Why does my Heritage Black Turkey have spots on its skin?

When your Heritage Black Turkey arrives, you may notice blue or black spots on the skin. Unlike a commercially bred white turkey, our turkey is dark-plumed. When processed, the pigment from the feathers can extrude into the skin.

This does not affect the turkey’s flavor, only it’s appearance, and it’s a trait of an old-world heritage breed.

How should I prepare my Heritage Black Turkey?

Once you are ready to begin preparing your Heritage Black Turkey, remember it can take several days, in the refrigerator, to fully defrost it. Because of the heritage genetics of our turkeys and the methods used to raise them, they are full of natural flavor and only require a little olive oil and salt and pepper for an outstanding eating experience. However, if you prefer to follow a recipe, we recommend this one (brining is optional): The Perfect Heritage Black Turkey Recipe 

Visit our web store to order your Heritage Black Turkey!