Gobble up local turkey this weekend

turkeySupport local food this harvest season.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, there are many great ways to incorporate fresh, delicious local beverages and foods, including locally raised turkey, into your festivities.

Ontario produces 45 per cent of Canada’s turkeys, about 63,000,000 kilograms a year.

Here are some important tips to ensure your turkey is cooked properly:

  • Buy a fresh, local turkey or choose a frozen bird, unstuffed or stuffed
  • Remove the giblets and refrigerate the whole fresh turkey, covered, for up to 2 days
  • Never thaw a frozen turkey at room temperature. Leave it in the original package and use one of the following methods:◦Frozen unstuffed turkey: Place turkey on a tray in the refrigerator, allowing 5 hours per pound (10 hr/kg)
  • Frozen stuffed turkey: Do not thaw a frozen pre-stuffed turkey before cooking
  • After removing the giblets and neck, rinse a fresh turkey or thawed turkey inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels
  • You can roast, barbecue or fry a whole turkey. For cooking times and more information visit the Turkey Farmers of Ontario’s makesitsuper.ca website

“This harvest season, take a moment to give thanks for the abundance of local, fresh seasonal foods and beverages available in our province. Ontario Agriculture Week is a perfect way to celebrate those farmers who grow, raise and harvest the best of what Ontario has to offer and helps bring it to our tables”, said Jeff Leal, Ontario Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

While turkey can be used to make a variety of delicious appetizers, soups, side-dishes and mains, there are many other ways to include locally grown and raised food into your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Get the best Ontario has to offer by visiting one of the many farmers’ markets across the province; most run until late October
  • Go straight to the source by visiting an on-farm market, pick-your-own farm, or farmgate producer which you can find by visiting Harvest Ontario or Ontario Farm
  • Start a new Thanksgiving tradition by making an entire meal using local, seasonal recipes featured by Foodland Ontario
  • Pair your meal with Ontario wine, beer or cider
  • Find out which nearby restaurants and businesses support local food at Feast Ontario
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