Turkey Alternatives for the Holidays

Roast duck

Adobe Stock

With turkey prices at record highs as Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, many consumers are looking for alternatives to the traditional main course for their holiday meals. As far as tradition goes, the rather sketchy details we do have about the first Thanksgiving meal celebrated by the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth in 1621 suggest that, while wild turkey was definitely available in plenty and mentioned in accounts specifically, other wild fowl – probably including duck, goose, swan, and perhaps other varieties – were also likely consumed. It is also recorded that venison was enjoyed in the form of five deer provided by the native tribesmen. Given their proximity to the ocean, it is highly likely that a variety of seafood – perhaps eels and shellfish, such as lobster, clams, and mussels – complemented the feast as well.

So, even tradition itself warrants branching out beyond turkey, and while we can’t guarantee that any of the suggestions offered here will necessarily prove more cost effective when all is said and done, perhaps variety itself provides its own justification. If you can’t find any of the alternatives mentioned above (or others) from your local grocer or other supplier, we have a few suggested online sources that you might want to try out:



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