[Sca-cooks] Turkeys

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Mon Dec 12 15:05:25 PST 2011

Cariadoc asked:
<<< Reading your post, I assumed you meant that that article mentioned  
turkey farming in the 16th c., but reading it, it doesn't--it's  
basically about people still raising 19th c. turkeys, so I assume you  
meant that other data support turkey farming in Europe.

What's the source? >>>

To which Phlip answered:
<<< There are lots of turkeys very available, other than the so-called  
wild turkey: >>>

Yes, but I think Cariadoc was talking about in period, not American  

When Daniel originally posted that link, I had the same question.  
Cariadoc, in case you missed it, here was a good reply from (of  
course :-) ), Bear:
Date: Sun, 27 Nov 2011 18:44:15 -0600
From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at att.net>
To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Turkeys

<<< Interesting. But the article is mostly about the rise of raising and
selling heritage turkeys. I didn't see anything about data supporting
turkey farming in Europe in the middle to late 1500s.

Stefan >>>

The Aztecs had domesticated turkeys (M. gallopavo gallopavo AKA South
Mexican Wild Turkey) and it was from this stock that the first turkeys  
imported into Europe. We don't know how widespread raising turkeys  
was, so
the introduction of the turkey into Europe could have occurred from  
1510 to 1528 (Cortez's first return to Spain). The actual date is likely
between 1520 and 1527, after the Spanish took over the Aztec empire. The
key point is the turkey was already being farmed and it was introduced  
as an
animal to be farmed.

There is at least one record of a farmer being paid to raise turkeys  
for a
noble table. And there is a record of expenses for one on Catherine de
Medici's feasts where the turkeys were priced much lower than any of the
large wild birds (I covered this in more detail some time ago, so the
reference may already be in the Florilegium).

At least one source has stated that the English brought domesticated  
to the New World before they encountered the Eastern Woodland Turkey (M.
gallopavo silvestris). I haven't traced that back to a contemporary
reference yet.


(now that I'm not alone in asking the question, I don't feel so stupid)
THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
    Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

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