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Corby Kummer on BPR | 11/21/18

Why Do We Still Eat Turkey On Thanksgiving?

Turkey
According to the National Turkey Federation, 88 percent of the country eats turkey on Thanksgiving.
Andrew Harnik/AP
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Corby Kummer on BPR | 11/21/18

Let’s be honest: Not everyone loves Thanksgiving turkey. It can be dry, tasteless, and in my case, contain my mother’s Band-Aid, which acted as an accidental garnish one year. Regardless of whether you enjoy turkey or not, it is tradition, and that is where its merit lies.

Food critic and senior editor at The Atlantic Corby Kummer told Boston Public Radio Wednesday that we don’t eat turkey for the taste — we eat it so we can connect to and participate in a collective American meal. According to the National Turkey Federation, 88 percent of the country eats turkey on Thanksgiving.

“It is cultural expectation. It is the idea that in order to join in this ritual that makes you feel a part of this country, a part of a group, a part of a family, it has to have this anchoring food right in the middle,” Kummer said.

“It hardly matters that very few people like it, that it’s an incredible ordeal to make, that it rarely tastes very good," he added. "The idea is you made it, you did the same thing everyone else is doing, you feel like you belong to this country, to this group, and you have provided for your family."

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