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To freeze or not to freeze, that is the question

Andy Ouriel • Nov 26, 2013 at 8:55 AM

Thanksgiving Day presents all sorts of complex questions for family and friends gathered around the table.


Leg or breast?


White or dark meat?


Pumpkin or pecan pie?


While some people always side with one dish, some indecisive diners, meanwhile, grab and scarf down both options. Others opt for a fresher choice.


A new and popular Thanksgiving food alternative revolves around people buying and preparing unfrozen turkeys.


Case in point: About half of the 2,500 turkeys being prepared for customers at Root’s Poultry in Fremont this holiday season will be sold as fresh as opposed to frozen.


Compared to past years, that represents an upward trend for Root’s Poultry, a multigenerational family business processing and later selling poultry products.

Big box stores, such as Kroger or Meijer, typically only sell ice-cold turkeys.

But Root’s Poultry, located on West State Street, caters to clientele seeking either fresh or frozen birds.

At $3.29 per pound, Root’s Poultry owner Mark Damschroder said the top-branded fresh turkeys cost a bit more than frozen turkeys. The turkeys range from 10 pounds to 30 pounds.

But many people pay a bit more for fresh turkeys because they:

• Stay good longer, allowing people to eat leftovers for several days.

“The leftovers tend to be more favorable,” Damschroder said. “You can have leftovers for three days in a row and they are still moist.”

• Cook faster and are easier to handle.

“You don’t have to mess around with thawing a turkey and don’t have to deal with the mess,” he said. “With a fresh turkey, it’s just a matter of taking it out of the bag, pulling the neck and giblets out, rinsing it and cooking it.

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