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Does turkey still rule the roost at SA's Christmas lunch tables?




We find out which roasts are the most popular choices for festive menus. The turkey is still a popular choice for the Christmas table roast – along with the leg of lamb and gammon.


| Sunday Times

This according to local retailers‚ who mostly import the bird from the US and Brazil.

Supermarket chain Pick n Pay said that the turkey is as popular as ever‚ but that other cuts also sell really well over the festive season.

“Customers love to celebrate Christmas with a special meal‚ whether it is cooked on the braai or in the oven. We have some great turkeys of between 6-8 kg for sale over the festive season‚ together with special stuffed duck and chicken.

“Lamb‚ chicken and duck are all really popular during the festive season and are all produced locally by South African farmers‚” said the retailer’s strategy and corporate affairs executive‚ David North.

Theresa Rowlands from Braeside Butchery Meat Market in the Johannesburg suburb of Greenside‚ agreed. “We're selling just as much as in the past years‚” she said.

Braeside imports its turkeys from Brazil.

According to Kevin Lovell‚ of the South African Poultry Association‚ most of the country's turkeys come from either Brazil or the US‚ with the bulk of the demand seen seasonally.

“Our market for whole turkeys is mostly seasonal. Globally turkeys are a relatively minor meat‚ compared to chicken. It's just not that popular anymore‚” he said.

Jürg Kung‚ of Wholesale Meats‚ said: “Any turkey products‚ leg of lamb and gammon” are top sellers in December.

Executive chef at the Michelangelo Hotel in Sandton Trevor Boyd said that he will be serving guests turkey on Christmas Day. "Not everyone will have it‚ but it's expected."

Other popular choices are not meats traditionally associated Christmas Day.

"Clearly gammon is gonna be popular always‚ but people also want the luxuries they don't always get to have like lamb and beef fillet."

Boyd said roasting a turkey has become easier as supermarkets package the birds with helpful gadgets and instructions.

“The turkeys of today are designed to help you. They're packaged with instructions and they've got their own little thermometer.”

Boyd recommends spreading butter under the skin of the turkey's breast to retain moisture in the cooking process.

He said that last year it was tough sourcing the bird‚ but that this was not a challenge this year. – TMG Digital


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