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Oct 04th
Home Sections Humor & Satire More Turkey Stories: Why Some Filipino Americans Hate Turkeys and Don’t Eat Them on T-Day
More Turkey Stories: Why Some Filipino Americans Hate Turkeys and Don’t Eat Them on T-Day PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Humor & Satire
Wednesday, 21 November 2007 11:54


After reading the “A Cup of Kapeng Barako” column of Jesse Jose, two of my friends sent in their commentaries. Yes, because tomorrow is the big day for turkeys, including those in the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA), we have more turkey stories, with apologies to Mr. Jose.

Why include the NaFFAA? The federation’s turkeys refuse to talk turkey with its critics and more often than not, they are like turkeys voting for an early Christmas, to use oft-quoted clichés. And of course, these NaFFAA national executive officers perhaps need cold-turkey treatment for their addiction to corruption. But soon they will be like in a turkey shoot and they will all be blasted to pieces from the poetic sense.

Where were we? Oh, the commentaries after reading Mr. Jose’s story . . .  The first commentary came from Copper Sturgeon. (Yes, it is the real name of this handsome EuroFilipino mestizo. It’s not his pen name, as his screen name in Internet circles is “Tumbagang Isda” or “TI” for short). Here is what TI sent:


These are the facts on turkeys. Domesticated turkey is the result of years of breeding. It is so far removed from what turkey tastes like, and what it looks like originally. There is no such thing as white turkey in the wild, the meat is more like chicken in juiciness but a bit tougher and has "gamy" tinge to it.

There are several varieties of wild turkeys, known for its color of the skin, plumage and size. Brown turkey is a Northeastern-American wild bird, while in the Southwest it is blue, green and brown, in Mexico, even more...

I don't like turkey, I tried cooking them soaked in brine, in oranges, stuffed with nuts and bread with apples, lots of ways and still cannot get that flavor inside the meat. Looks and smells good, but it is not delicious at all. UNQUOTE.

Editor’s Note: Copper, perhaps you should emulate my “kahimanwa” (town mate) from Sorsogon who simply stuffs the turkey with lots and lots of lemon grass (“tanglad” in many Filipino languages and dialects). I tasted once this lemon-grass flavored turkey and it was aromatic and the herb improved also the taste. But of course, I may be different from you, TI, as I am a practitioner of the “see-sea diet.” I eat any food harvested from the sea and more often than not, anything I see on the table.

But there is no truth to the rumor that our favorite Filipino-American adventurer in the wilds of Virginia, Bobby Manasan, uses fresh MaryJane leaves as turkey stuffing. And it’s not also true that Bobby M calls the recipe, “Turkey on High.”

And from Minneapolis, Minnesota, comes this commentary from Dr. Eddie AAA Calderon, after whom the now-infamous Filipino-American soap opera, “NaFFAA-ka-sakit, Kuya Eddie,” was named.



Yes, folks, (I did) my very best to develop a good taste of turkey, but it has not worked very well.

When I first came to the USA (in LA, California) as a graduate student, my first Thanksgiving was in 1964 with an American family from Pasadena, California. I partook of that meal, which Americans considered sumptuous, especially with all the trimmings. I ate it even though my taste was not in conformity with theirs. The American family even gave me a “pabaon” (take-home bag) with lots of turkey meat both white and brown. I tried to eat them during lunch and supper, but to no avail: my gastronomic anxiety towards the turkey meal still registered negative.

Then my folks came to the USA in 1972 to visit me and my sister for the first time. They were invited during their first Thanksgiving Day and my sister and I came along with them. While my parents and sister enjoyed the meal and again with all the trimmings, I ate quietly although I was thrilled as there was also ham on the table. So I helped myself tremendously to the ham.

The Mutya ng Kyrgyzstan (Dr. Eddie’s wife) likes to eat turkeys and in fact all kinds of birds. In fact when she first came to America in 2002, I took her to the park and was so enthralled upon seeing lots of geese and turkeys around. One turkey came to approach her, thinking that the Mutya had some grub to feed it. The Mutya grabbed it but the bird made a big noise, as it attempted to get away from her.

Then I came to the rescue (of the bird) and asked my Mutya, who had a very firm grip on that turkey, what she intended to do with it? She said that she would like to take it home and cook it. I told her that she could not do that as it was forbidden by law to do so. She then cried, telling me that she wanted that turkey bad. She did not know that in the USA we had regulations, ordinances and laws that forbid one from catching turkeys and other wild animals, unless during the hunting season. She told me that in her country, any one could grab a turkey, a game hen, a rabbit, etcetera, without any problem. I did not tell her that in the Philippines, you could grab a game (wild) bird without any problem with the law.

I told her that I could buy her a turkey at any grocery. She said, however, that the taste of wild turkey would not be the same as a domesticated turkey.  Now she watches the geese or flock of geese and ducks in the park or along the Mississippi River and enjoys showing them to Pfirlani-Eddie and Eddnard-Placido (our two sons). UNQUOTE.

Come to think of it, what do vegetarians, especially those in the Filipino-American community, eat during Thanksgiving Day? Aside from the green-beans casserole and mashed potato, they can probably have their fill of the baked sweet yams with marshmallow and dinner roll. After all, it is not only the American President who issues a traditional pardon to one or two turkeys, vegetarians (and folks like Dr. Eddie and Copper) have been pardoning turkeys since way-back then. (Did I hear Poet-pundit Fred Burce Bunao laugh at the pardon given by the Philippine President to another Filipino turkey?)

And speaking of an Erap joke, it is said that his antonym of a vegetarian is “humanitarian” (sic). Because cannibals eat human beings and not only turkeys? # # #


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Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 November 2010 20:42
Comments (1)
1 Friday, 01 January 2010 20:11
I've never liked turkey the way it's prepared in the US on Thanksgiving. Well, 2 years ago, I bought a turkey fryer and deep fried a turkey. Not only was the turkey finished in record time, but it tasted really delicious! You have to marinate the turkey, and I used Creole seasoning, plus peanut oil. Nothing like it!! Reminds me of deep fried chicken!! Every Thanksgiving, I always deep fry turkey. Note: I deep fry it in my backyard, with a fire extinguisher close by, just in case.

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If a man will begin with certainties,he shall end with doubts;but if he will be content to begin with doubts,he shall end in certainties.-- Sir Francis Bacon, 1561-1626