Image+by+Mark+Miller%2C+CC+BY-SA+4.0+%2C+via+Wikimedia+Commons

Image by Mark Miller, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Eating Your Way to the Best Holiday Entrée

December 3, 2021

We all have our favorite entrées for the winter holidays.
Some like the classics, like turkey and ham.
Others delve into more interesting options such as tofurkey or turducken.
The question is which is the best meat or meat substitute out there. Let’s weigh-in.

Turducken quartered cross-section.jpg
As the name suggests, a turducken is a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck, then stuffed into a boneless turkey. The chicken in the center is traditionally stuffed with a sausage-cornbread stuffing. Photograph by Christopher “Pacula” Corkum, CC BY-SA 2.5 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5>, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Australian Style of Christmas Ham.jpg
Ham is one of the oldest cured meats, with written records as far back as 160 BC. The “salting of hams” was written by Cato the Elder in his tome, the De Agri Cultura. Photograph by Becproud, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

First, there is a feed ratio for each of the entrées.
The feed ratio is how many pounds of feed are needed for the animal to gain one pound.
For a 12- pound turducken, you would need 27.4 (average for turkey, chicken, and duck) pounds of feed. A 12- pound turkey needs about 30 pounds, and ham needs 36 pounds of feed.

Thanksgiving Turkey in Star City (6395351667).jpg
The Thanksgiving turkey, while not part of the original Thanksgiving, has made the top of the list. Fun fact: The first Thanksgiving took place in 1621, making this past Thanksgiving the 400th anniversary. Photograph by Samantha Cristoforetti, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The tofurkey does not fit this category because it is not meat, but technically it only needs 12 pounds of vegetables, giving it the best ratio of 1:1.
With these numbers in mind, some options begin to look better than others with the tofurkey only requiring 12 pounds of vegetables and a ham needing nearly 40 pounds of feed for the perfect meal.
Finally, we will consider the cost of feeding 10 people.
Walmart sells 10- pound Butterball turkeys for $10.34, and they sell 6six-pound generic bone-in hams for $11.28. A 12- pound turducken will cost a lot, about $120, but it is delicious.

 

As a recap, the turducken will be the most expensive option while the Butterball turkeys will be the cheapest.
However, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Based on the survey on the SHS Courier website, as of Nov. 29, 36 people have voted with ham at 11 votes, turducken at four votes, and tofurkey with zero. Turkey, however, takes the holiday crown with 21 votes, giving it the title of Best Holiday Entrée.

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