Thanksgiving Myths

This morning we found ourselves scratching our heads over the fact that Thanksgiving is just over a week away.  Not sure how that happened, considering we just put away our flip-flops, but there it is.

Here are a few Thanksgiving food myths that we discussed this morning on WIKY -

1. The Bigger the Turkey, the Better
 
Here's the thing, the ones with big breasts don't have much flavor. According to experts, you should compare the size of the breast to the size of the rest of the bird. Larger-breasted turkeys are new breeds that were created to produce a larger amount of meat--not a better flavor. The smaller the ratio of breast meat to whole bird, the closer the turkey is to the original model and the more old-fashioned its flavor will be.
 
2. Fresh Pumpkin is Better Than Canned Pumpkin
 
"Canned" isn't a bad word. Canned tuna and canned tomatoes have a place in the pantry of any great cook. The same rule goes for pumpkin. Canned pureed pumpkin from the grocery store often produces a more reliable and consistent result--especially in baking. If you insist on using fresh pumpkin (and, let's be honest, preventing your guests from enjoying the traditional flavors of Thanksgiving) be sure to use sugar pumpkins - the pumpkins you buy to carve at Halloween are watery, mealy, and not great for recipes.
 
3. Turkey Makes You Sleepy
 
If you find yourself nodding off on the couch after the Thanksgiving feast, don't blame the poor old turkey. There’s not enough tryptophan, the substance that can make you sleepy, in roasted turkey to tire you out. In fact, there's more tryptophan in cheese and chicken breast than there is in turkey. The real reason you're sleepy? More likely, it's because of the stress of the holiday, the hours spent cooking, the wine and spirits - and all the fat and calories you just consumed.

4. Stuffing is the Same as Dressing

Dressing and stuffing are similar, but not the same. The difference lies in how they are prepared. Stuffing is, obviously, stuffed inside the bird, while dressing is usually cooked in a casserole dish.
 
5. Pop-up Plastic Thermometers Work
 
Pop-up thermometers are unreliable. Not only do they pierce the skin and let flavorful juices escape, but they can also malfunction, leaving you with an under- or overcooked bird. What's more, most are made to pop up at 180 ° F--at that point your bird is toast. Use a probe thermometer instead.
 
Pass the sweet potatoes, please!