Talking Turkey From Coast-To-Coast: Butterball Reveals Regional Thanksgiving Tips, Trends and Recipes

Oct 30, 2007, 01:00 ET from Butterball, LLC

    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 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
 Thanksgiving turkey.
     -- 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 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 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.
     About Butterball
     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 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.
     Sara Corbett

SOURCE Butterball, LLC