NAPERVILLE, Ill., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to
Thanksgiving, Americans have a lot in common, but a new Butterball(R)
national survey found regional differences in the flavors, traditions and
recipes they enjoy. For example, garlic and sage are among favorite
seasonings for cooks in the Pacific region, with more than 50 percent using
a combination of both to prepare their Thanksgiving turkeys(1). However,
South Central cooks prefer to experiment with unique seasonings more than
any other region, using flavorful herbs and spices such as rosemary,
paprika and cloves to prepare their Thanksgiving turkeys(2).
"We get calls from Alaska to Florida about every conceivable turkey and
meal preparation topic," says Mary Clingman, director of the Butterball
Turkey Talk-Line(R) (1-800-BUTTERBALL). "Our top questions -- about thawing
and cook times -- are the same across the country, but we also get many
calls from people with great regional recipe ideas. One of my favorite
ideas is to use local fruits and vegetables in stuffing and side dishes."
Inspiration and insights for regional Thanksgiving celebrations
Following are tips to help families add local flair to their
Thanksgiving celebrations. Visit http://www.Butterball.com for delicious
new recipes that incorporate regional ingredients into traditional
-- Northeastern Feasts -- Many associate the Northeast with fresh seafood,
stews and baked beans, but the region is also home to cranberries. In
fact, 86 percent of New Englanders list cranberry sauce among the side
dishes they are most likely to have at their Thanksgiving dinner(3).
Use fresh cranberries in turkey glazes, chutneys and salads to honor
one of North America's native fruits.
-- Best in the West -- Fresh, earthy dishes are preferred in the West,
where ingredients range from wild mushrooms and berries in the
mountains to pineapple and fish from the Pacific. Add dried fruit, nuts
and herbs to multi-grain bread for a healthy, West Coast stuffing.
-- From the Heartland -- The Midwest, the "nation's breadbasket," is known
for classic dishes using potatoes, cheese, corn and grains. For a
hearty holiday side dish, saute seasonal Midwestern vegetables, top
with herbs and grated cheese, and heat until gold and bubbly.
-- South by Southwest -- Cuisine of the South includes everything from
decadent ingredients to spicy flavors. For instance, residents of
Southern regions are more likely to eat rich pecan pie than any other
region(4). In the Southwest spice is supreme; add flavor to leftovers
by making zesty tacos with leftover turkey seasoned with chipotle,
corn, pepper, and onion salsa.
Remember these turkey basics -- they're the same no matter where you
Despite the differences, all surveyed regions agreed on what they look
forward to most about Thanksgiving -- spending time with family (78
percent) and eating turkey (57 percent)(5). Keep the following tips from
the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts in mind as you prepare your
-- Serving Size -- Allow 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person for generous
servings and leftovers.
-- Food Safety -- Follow good home food safety procedures when handling
-- Wash hands often
-- Keep raw turkey and ready-to-eat foods separated
-- Refrigerate cooked turkey within two hours of carving to a
temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit
-- Meat Thermometer -- Use a meat thermometer and cook turkey to proper
temperature (180 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh and 165 degrees
Fahrenheit in the center of the stuffing).
-- Thawing -- For a frozen turkey, allow at least one day of thawing in
the refrigerator for every four pounds of turkey. Fresh turkeys do not
require any thawing.
-- Preparation -- Before roasting, turn the turkey's wings back to hold
the neck skin in place. This levels the turkey in the roasting pan to
encourage even cooking and makes carving easier.
-- Roasting -- Butterball recommends the open-pan roasting method to
consistently create a tender, juicy and golden-brown turkey. Americans
agree -- 62 percent of people reported they prepare their Thanksgiving
turkey in an open pan(6). Use a shallow pan about 2 to 2 1/2 inches
deep and cook in a 325 degree conventional oven.
The home economists and experts at the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line will
be available starting Nov. 1, 2007 to answer all your Thanksgiving
questions. Visit http://www.Butterball.com for great regional recipes,
tips, how-to videos and turkey calculators. Holiday cooks can also
subscribe to or download the second season of TurkeyTalk(TM) -- the first
podcast dedicated to holiday meal preparation -- by visiting
http://www.Butterball.com/podcast. The four-episode series starts Nov. 1,
About the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line
One of the first national, toll-free consumer help lines, the original
Turkey Talk-Line staff of six home economists fielded questions from 11,000
turkey-troubled Americans during its first season in November 1981. On
Thanksgiving Day, the small group took hundreds of calls -- with only a
rolodex of notes and their own knowledge to help them answer the nation's
questions. Today, professionally-trained home economists and nutritionists
assist more than 100,000 callers each year in the United States and Canada
during the holiday season. With 50+ staff members, the Turkey Talk-Line has
the resources to answer questions from either English- or Spanish-speaking
callers, as well as respond to questions via e-mail.
Butterball, LLC was formed in October 2006, when Carolina Turkeys
acquired the Butterball brand from ConAgra Foods. The company is now the
largest producer of turkey in the United States, with a variety of product
lines distributed through its deli, retail, food service and international
channels. Headquartered in Mt. Olive, NC, Butterball, LLC employs 5,700
associates throughout its six plant locations and corporate offices in
Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Illinois and North Carolina. For more
information, please go to http://www.Butterball.com or
(1-6) The Butterball regional survey was conducted to determine
differences and similarities in Americans' Thanksgiving
celebrations. Fielded by Impulse Research in May 2007, the study
surveyed 1,800 American adults (aged 20 and older) nationwide via
the Internet. Survey findings have a +/- 3 percent margin of error.
SOURCE Butterball, LLC