Food and Drink 

Turkeys lurking in our midst

It's that time of year again, when thousands and thousands of turkeys come lurking into our midst.

Given it's been the sacrificial lamb, I mean, dish, this time of year for centuries, at least in North America and the U.K., it's pretty likely you're going to be joining in a taste of Thanksgiving turkey somewhere, somehow this holiday weekend.

It might get reinterpreted as a turkey sandwich with cranberry sauce from your favourite deli, or a lovely Mexican-style turkey stew. (Wild turkey meat was traditionally big in what is now Mexico; in fact, the peoples of Mesoamerica first domesticated wild turkeys).

However you have it, enjoy, for not only does turkey taste great - especially the dark meat, which for some unfathomable reason Canadians prefer not - it's good for you, too: relatively low in fat, high in protein and a good source of minerals and vitamins.

It also contains some tryptophan, which has a mellowing, sleep-inducing effect on your pineal gland, but so do a lot of other foods as well, such as shrimp, tuna, halibut and even beef.

It's far more likely you'll fall asleep after your Thanksgiving dinner from, A., too much food and booze or, B., boring dinner conversation. I can't do much about A., but when it comes time for festive conversation, you can easily assemble your own take on all things "turkey" and "Thanksgiving" from the offerings below, with apologies to Harper's magazine.

•Average number of turkeys Nesters Food Market in Whistler sells at Thanksgiving: 700

•Average number of servings produced from an averaged sized turkey (not including leftovers): 8

•Number of servings of turkey in Whistler whipped up from turkeys from Nesters alone: 5,600

•Year that the Pilgrims held a Thanksgiving dinner in New England in the horseshoe-shaped bay surrounding what is now Cape Cod: 1620

•Ordinal position of the Pilgrim's 1620 Thanksgiving dinner, as mythologized in Canada and the U.S.: 1st

•Year that English explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Orient but failed, held a formal ceremony in what is now called Newfoundland to give thanks for surviving the long journey: 1578

•Year that Canada's government declared "A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed ... to be observed on the second Monday in October": 1957

•Farm cash receipts in Canada from turkey in 2006 (the last available census data from Statistics Canada): $278.5 million

•Number of turkeys consumed on Christmas Day, 2009, in the U.K.: 7.7 million

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