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The Decline of the Turkey Carving Empire – The Butcher Method

November 23, 2007 | By More


There was an interesting timely article in the New York Times this week regarding the annual Thanksgiving turkey carving tradition and how it has fallen out of favor with many families.

The reason, by mealtime most cooks are tired of cooking and just want to unload the turkey on a taker for carving. The typical “man of the house,” option is no longer a given. Finding another who would volunteer to assume the job is increasingly difficult as most family members realize the risks involved with dismembering their relatives hard work. Similarly guests will likely decline the high-profile invitation to partake. Add to all this the inherent drowsiness of the holiday itself, a cold November day dedicated to an individual large meal. On top of that factor in that many families start happy hour (cocktails) as soon as guests begin to arrive effectively impairing most who would likely be able to yield the blade.

The recommendation, skip the tradition, and carve your turkey like a butcher.

“I don’t cut like a chef, I cut like a butcher,” said Ray Venezia, the meat director for the four Fairway markets, a third-generation butcher and one of the biggest turkey purveyors in New York City. Instead of slicing the meat from the roast at the table, Mr. Venezia’s carving protocol calls for the biggest pieces, the breasts and the thighs, to be removed whole, then boned and sliced on a cutting board. “Trying to carve from the carcass is like trying to cut it off a beach ball: it’s all curved surfaces and it moves around under the knife,” he said. “Give me a flat cutting board any time.”

Foodea tip: Another option is to simply get your butcher to pre-cut the turkey for you and cook your turkey in pieces. This method will also save on cooking time!

Read the full article via the New York Times.

Category: Food

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