Turkey is arguably the most divisive meat on the Christmas table, with the festive meat often causing family members, once-united, to form a passionate divide over their ardent love/hate for it – a divide fiercer than the feud between the Monatgues and Capulets.
For some, turkey sparks a sense of joy stronger than that of 100 Christmas carolers belting “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”. For others, the mere presence of turkey on the table symbolises that of the Grinch, evidently sucking the pleasure out of the once-festive occasion.
As luck would have it, two fellow co-workers are willing to engage in a turkey duel. Is it the saving grace to the Christmas lunch or, put simply, a plate of shit?
FOR – Louis
What’s that I hear in the distance? Oh yes, it’s the sound of 100 Christmas carollers belting “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, followed by an acapella of “Shine Jesus Shine” – this is what the mere presence of turkey does to me, making my tummy tingle and pumping blood into my usually dormant heart.
Maybe it’s the inevitable Prosecco talking, or the Aperol Spritz coupled with the UDLs (go hard or go home – Jesus would be proud), but whenever I see the turkey on the table, I think to myself, “We meat again old pal, we meat again. I’ve missed you.” I’m not even a big meat-eater usually – I often prefer vege meals in my day-to-day life – but something about a sliver of turkey meat releases my damn inhibitions. This might sound fucked, but the drier the better, as it serves a perfect climate to be drowned in gravy. In fact, in my humble opinion, the low-key blandness of the turkey counterbalanced by the richness of the gravy is arguably the greatest combo of the festive season. Name a more iconic duo… I’m prepared to wait to wait all holidays.
When Christmas comes and goes, and the dust settles, inevitably leaving behind a Christmas comedown, the only thing that gets me through is the satisfaction of knowing that leftover turkey will be in the fridge.
Thesis aside, j’adore turkey. Why? It tastes fucking good. Le fin.
AGAINST – Mel
The fact that turkey is served with so many fucking condiments as accompaniment is testament to the fact that it is, in fact, meat-shaped cardboard.
Think about it – Christmas ham? You have that on it’s own, baby! No need for fucking apple sauce/cranberry/some form of jus bullshit. You don’t need to add anything to that juicy pink slab of meat, it’s delicious on it’s own. But turkey requires a myriad of other, better flavours to essentially hide the fact it’s just a dry, chewy beige couch stain of a food. If you forget the cranberry sauce, ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. Baby Jesus cries. The turkey lies forgotten, congealing in it’s own juicy filth. The dog won’t even eat it.
New thought – turkey is impossible to cook unless you are Curtis Stone and also on the bags. You need laser focus to actually get the thing in and out before it dries into a husk. Too soon, everyone enjoys some festive salmonella. Too late, everyone chokes to death on dry white meat particles.
HAM, on the other hand, cannot be ruined. Firstly, it’s already fucking cooked before you put it in the bbq/oven, so you’re really just heating the log of meat up and covering it with some tasty additional sweetness in the form of that delicious Julie Goodwin marmalade/soy sauce/mustard baste. Immediately google that shit, it’ll change your life.
The point is, ham is for the people. Turkey is it’s prissy, bitchy cousin. Ham won’t embarrass you in front of friends and family. Turkey will PRETEND to play the game, looking all crispy and delicious, only to be ripped open at lunch time, exposing it’s cursed insides that are dry and tasteless.
Fuck you turkey. I’m a GOOD COOK OK.Image: Getty Images / The Image Bank