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Thanksgiving: Are you TEAM DUCK or TEAM TURKEY?
Having immigrated to the U.S. not long before I was born, my parents always were mystified at the American turkey tradition. Each year, Dad would ask, “Why do Americans eat turkey? It’s so dry!”
And then, buy us a Peking duck.
To him, the idea of roasting a turkey was totally foreign. Two problems:
🚫 Having to eat a meat apparently devoid of fat or flavor;
🚫 Having to roast that meat in an oven.
You see, ovens aren’t really a *thing* in Chinese cooking. We used ours only to store pots and pans.
But growing up surrounded by Thanksgiving turkey culture, I developed a serious case of FOMO.
One year, Dad finally agreed to give it a try.
An MIT engineer by training, he did all the research, bought the correct size turkey and all the ingredients for the fixings.
Thanksgiving Day arrived.
All afternoon, Dad stood by the oven, peering inside at this giant bird, wondering and worrying over whether it was done.
It was really stressful. No one ever did get around to making all those side dishes. When he finally took the turkey out, he took one bite and declared: “Dry.”
That was the end of our family's adventures with Thanksgiving turkeys.
Decades later, I ended up marrying Dave , whose Dad was Hungarian and whose Mom is Italian. Each year, my incredible mother-in-law makes creating a turkey spread for 40 with lasagna look effortless. 🦃
And so, over the years, I’ve grown to think of the “Duck vs Turkey” debate as a binary one, based on whether we would spend the holiday with my side of the family (TEAM DUCK) or Dave's (TEAM TURKEY).
All this is why I am so tickled to see this headline in the Pasadena Star News: “That’s not duck hanging in Chinese restaurants, it’s Thanksgiving turkey and it looks amazing.”
Apparently, there now is:
🎉 Peking-Duck-Style Thanksgiving Turkey! 🎉
A uniquely American invention.
THIS turkey is prepared in the way ancient Chinese emperors ate their duck, with thin, crispy skin and super moist, flavorful meat.
Instead of bready stuffing, the inside is rubbed with a marinade of Chinese spices like anise and licorice, then filled with onions, garlic and celery.
This turkey served with the traditional fixings of steamed buns and hoisin sauces.
How fantastic !
It seems to me that * Peking Duck Style Thanksgiving Turkey * represents the very best of what America stands for.
We need not choose between the cultures of our old and new countries.
We can mix and match traditions in just the way that makes us happy. 🐥
Our nation may not yet fully embody our ideals, but they are our ideals.
And for this, I am #thankful. 🌈
I’d really like to know:
What Thanksgiving traditions did YOU grow up with, if any? 😋
What are YOU thankful for this year?
Happy Thanksgiving, folks ! 💖