Make Your Meals Spicier

April 1, 2003


CONTACT: Sherrie Rosenblatt
Director of Public Relations
202-898-0100 x233


Bland, plain, tasteless...these words used to come to mind when people thought about poultry. Fortunately, times have changed, and turkey is taking center stage as cooks across the country learn how to put to good use their unopened spices. According to Cooking Light magazine, spice sales have seen a 45 percent jump in the last several years. Not only that, exotic spices like cumin and curry are top sellers, showing a definite change in taste trends nationwide.

America's interest in the many cultures that make up our society is becoming more and more evident as people seek out ethnic restaurants to experiment with new flavors as part of their leisure entertainment. Italian and Chinese are still popular, but Thai, Greek, Vietnamese, Mediterranean and other cuisines are gaining popularity on the restaurant scene. As people discover and enjoy these new flavor combinations, they are eager to try to replicate them at home with interesting, well-seasoned dishes that please the palate.

It is no longer necessary to search for specialty shops that carry unique, exotic spices. Grocery stores nationwide now supply everything adventurous cooks need to satisfy their ethnic food urges. From tamarind and curry to cumin and coriander, the possibilities are endless. As an added bonus, many grocery stores now have recipe databases in free-standing computer kiosks. Once you find a spice or flavor combination you like, you can enter the ingredients into the computer, and it will print out recipes to tantalize your taste buds.

Turkey is the ideal food to use in these experimental creations. Its light, mild flavor does not overpower the taste of the spices, providing a perfect balance of flavor combinations.

"Remember that a variety of turkey products are now available in your grocery store," says Sherrie Rosenblatt, director of public relations for the National Turkey Federation. "Consider using turkey thighs and drumsticks for recipes that require gamier, stronger flavored meat, and use turkey tenderloins or cutlets for recipes that call for a lighter flavored meat."

A common mistake cooks make when first learning to use new spices is that they are too cautious when first seasoning the meat. Then, to adjust the flavor, they may overcompensate by adding too much spice. With the mild flavor of turkey, the seasoning can be easily adjusted, allowing for a perfect meal every time.

Following are a few recipes that take full advantage of turkey's pleasing flavor and the spices that are currently so popular. Cumin, coriander and fresh cilantro are just a few of the spices used to make unique turkey dishes like Spiced Crispy Turkey Tenderloins, Mexican Turkey Stuffed Shells and Gingered Turkey with Potatoes and Chick Peas. Use these recipes to stimulate your creativity, then enjoy experimenting with a variety of spice combinations.


The National Turkey Federation is the advocate for all segments of the U.S. turkey industry. It's award winning web site offers successful on-line professional chef cooking demonstrations and a searchable database of more than 300 recipes that exhibit turkey's versatility as a profit-building item, which enhances menus in all meal occasions during every season of the year. Operators can also go to to sign up for the RecipE-mail program to register and receive unique recipe ideas that add flair to holiday and special occasion menus year-round.