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A Thanksgiving turkey for $80?

Marketplace Staff Nov 23, 2006
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A Thanksgiving turkey for $80?

Marketplace Staff Nov 23, 2006
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SCOTT JAGOW: Your typical 10-pound Thanksgiving turkey costs about $20, but some people pay four times that amount for a special kind of bird. Tom Banse reports.


[ Turkeys gobbling ]

TOM BANSE: These are Heritage turkeys.

They have distinguished bloodlines that supposedly trace back to breeds that were around when the Pilgrims showed up. They graze on pasture and are allowed to reproduce naturally.

The birds also boast superior taste, texture and aroma according to many chefs.

Oregon farmer Andy Westlund reared about 400 of the birds this year and sold out weeks ago. Next year, he’s hoping to raise 2,500.

ANDY WESTLUND: We can’t keep up. We’re not learning how to raise these birds as fast as the demand is rising and it’s a shame.

Heritage turkeys nearly vanished a decade ago. Then two nonprofits started a successful campaign to reacquaint American diners and breeders with the birds.

Caution though: Some tasters have been disappointed to find the high-priced turkeys scrawny and stringy.

I’m Tom Banse for Marketplace.

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