TASTE

What Exactly Is A Heritage Turkey, Anyway? (VIDEO)

11/12/2013 12:48 pm ET

Here's a not-so-secret fact about Thanksgiving: the turkey is typically not the best-tasting dish. Still, it remains the cornerstone of the holiday. In the most recent episode of Vanity Fair's cheeky The Snob's Dictionary series, the state of the Thanksgiving turkey is examined under a food snob's lens.

The Butterball turkey in no way passes muster for true food snobs. "Turkey, the food snob will tell you, used to be flavorful," says the video's haughty narrator. But then the freezer-ready jumbo birds came along.

So what's a food snob to do? Why, choose a heritage turkey of course! These pricy birds, which are typically pasture-raised for a longer period of time before slaughter, can offer a new level of turkey flavor. More specifically, one bite can lead toward a "euphoric, Proustian, life-before-your-eyes moment of re-living a flavor experience from the past. This is what turkeys tasted like when I was a pig-tailed little girl in Vermont," explains the narrator.

Check out the video above to become well-versed on the various heritage turkeys out there, and why they are superior to their conventionally-raised brothers. But in all seriousness, if you do want to order a heritage turkey for Thanksgiving, then order one ASAP because unlike Butterball birds, you can't just go to the supermarket and find a giant bin of them.

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