Whether it's a turkey sandwich or turkey on the Thanksgiving table, roast chicken for dinner or chicken wings at your Super Bowl party, poultry is a huge part of the American diet. Americans are eating about 60 pounds of poultry per person each year, and chicken has surpassed beef in popularity in recent years. While Americans are consuming less beef and pork, chicken and turkey are on the rise.
With poultry playing such a significant role in our lives, we wanted to take a look at what our food looks like before it hits our tables. Unlike some of the scarier-looking seafood we looked at recently, the birds that typically end up in our recipes are really quite beautiful.
Here are eight kinds of poultry you've probably eaten or at least heard of, and what they look like before they get to your plate.
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Chicken has become an important staple in Americans' diets in the last few decades. Today Americans are eating more chicken than beef
for the first time in 100 years.
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Squab is a young, domesticated pigeon. Squabs are usually eaten at about four weeks of age
and are known for a rich, gamey flavor.
We typically eat domestic turkeys, like the Butterballs you hear a lot about at Thanksgiving. Americans ate about 46 million turkeys
on Thanksgiving day in 2012. Through breeding, modern domestic turkeys differ from wild ones
. They're heavier, can not fly and are poor runners.
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Wild turkeys look very different than the Butterballs we typically consume. Once very common in North America, the species became endangered in the early 1900s. Through conservation efforts, the wild turkey population grew over the century and there are now an estimated seven million wild turkeys across 49 states. You can only eat wild turkey by hunting it, and turkey hunting laws vary by state.
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Duck has the most fat per square inch of any other kind of fowl, which makes it one of the tastiest. We're big fans of duck and duck fat
here at HuffPost Taste. Pekin duck is the most common commercial duck breed in the U.S.
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Quail refers to an order of mid-sized birds called Galliformes. The birds have dark, gamey meat.
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Goose, like duck, is a fatty bird. Its meat is dark and lean, and the fat is great for rendering and using later.
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Pheasant is a well-known bird that is popular to hunt. It has lean meat that is said to have a gamey flavor.
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