Turkey is well known as the meat traditionally served at large holiday feasts throughout the year. England commenced this tradition by serving turkey as the main course at Christmas dinners in the early sixteenth century, with the United States and Canada following by using turkey as the focal point of a Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey has branched out from an exquisite meal served on special occasions to a type of food that is consumed throughout the entire year, in many different forms. When cooking turkey, it is important to defrost the product for one or two days prior to cooking. The most common form of cooking a turkey is baking it in an oven for several hours, often with the cavity stuffed. Baking helps to cook a turkey throughout and retain the taste and moisture of the bird. Aside from baking, there are alternative ways to cook a turkey. A more recently popular method of cooking a turkey is by deep frying in hot oil, which can provide a crispier taste. Turkey can also be soaked in brine, a strong solution of water and salt, to help retain the moisture and marinate the turkey before baking or roasting. Turkey comes with an abundance of nutritional value, including a large percentage of daily value for riboflavin, phosphorus, zinc and protein per serving. The white meat of a turkey is much healthier than the dark meat, considering its low fat content and high levels of moisture. One of the generally held beliefs about turkey is that it can lead to sleepiness subsequent to consumption.
The dried, ground pods of Capsicum annuum L., a sweet red pepper.
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