turkey on farm at sunset

Low Fat Turkey

The Good and Bad News

Consumers demanded low fat turkeys, so turkeys are relatively low in fat. Conventional turkeys (as opposed to wild turkeys and heritage turkeys) are especially low in fat. This is because they were bred to grow quickly and go to market at about 11 weeks of age, before they are mature and before they have put on fat.

Turkey is promoted as a low fat meat. The breast of a conventional turkey is especially low in fat with only 4 grams of fat and 161 calories for 100 grams or about a three and one half ounce serving. That makes it healthful if you are trying to cut down on fat and calories, but it makes it less flavorful.

Low fat products don't taste as good as high fat alternatives. Why? Fat has a certain mouth feel. There is a luxury to it. It coats your tongue and allows flavors to migrate and come into contact with more parts of the tongue.

Fat forms a reservoir for flavor. It releases flavors more slowly giving the nose a better chance of drawing molecules from the mouth (as a chimney draws smoke from a fireplace) adding smell to the equation. Flavor, which is the combination of taste and smell, lasts longer and is more intense in the presence of fat.

Recent research may have even found a taste receptor for fat (CD 36 receptor).

If turkey is deficient in one of the most important flavor enhancers (fat), is it a reasonable candidate for a special meal? Absolutely!

If you want to enjoy the low fat aspect of turkey, cranberry sauce or other low fat sauces can be used in place of gravy.

But some recipes overcome the low fat content of turkey by adding fat, for example wrapping the bird in bacon, or slathering it with butter or injecting it oil. And turkey is often served with gravy made from its giblets, drippings and fat.

Also, low fat turkey actually enhances high fat foods without adding additional fat.

Oh! And there is another secret about turkey that very much makes up for its lack of fat, but you will have to examine the secret ingredient for that one.

Continue to Secret Number 4


Copyright © 2009 - 2019 The Perfect Turkey
Copyright © 2009 - 2019 The Perfect Turkey
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