Where to Get Your Thanksgiving Turkey

November 18, 2005

A Thanksgiving dinner with pollo just wouldn’t be the same. For the carnivorous majority of Thanksgiving celebrators, the turkey is the hub around which the all other dishes rotate. In many households, the act of carving the turkey is ceremonious, and wielding the carving knife is an honor that befalls only the most able-handed.For those who find themselves in Costa Rica this Thanksgiving, looking for that central ingredient for dinner, The Tico Times has found a few places around the San José greater metropolitan area that sell the bird. Many places request seven or eight days’ notice, so call ahead. If you live outside the Central Valley, check with your local supermarket.Corporación de Supermercados Unidos. Ricardo Coto, head of communications and marketing for Corporación de Supermercados Unidos (CSU), told The Tico Times that from mid-November on, Hipermás, Más x Menos and Maxi Bodega supermarket locations around the country will be selling turkeys. Palí does not usually have turkeys until the first week of December, but the birds can be specially ordered before then. The supermarkets sell Carolina Turkey birds imported from the United States, as well as Pavilandia turkeys raised in Costa Rica.Pavilandia turkeys are shipped from the United States as small chicks and raised in Alajuela, northwest of San José, according to Michele Barche, manager of Pavilandia, who added that the birds are raised on imported corn and given extra vitamins but no hormones. When sold, they weigh between 5-13 kilograms.According to Coto, at CSU stores they sell for about ¢1,900 ($3.90) per kilogram. The Carolina Turkeys cost about ¢2,500 ($5.10) per kilogram. Smoked and cooked turkeys can also be ordered at CSU stores.Turkeys can be bought directly from Pavilandia, but only in quantities of five or more. For more information, call Pavilandia at 296-0991.Lamm’s Carnes Delyfer. This delicatessen in the western suburb of Escazú sells both fresh meats and cooked plates to go. In addition to a special Thanksgiving menu, Lamm’s is selling whole turkeys, either raw or cooked. Owner Jean Luc Thiebauld told The Tico Times that his turkeys, imported from the United States, weigh six to seven kilograms on average, and can be prepared any way the customer desires. Prices were not available by press time. For more information, call 228-2814 or 288-0071.Carnes Don Fernando. A delicatessen with locations in Escazú, Santa Ana, southwest of San José, and the eastern suburb of Curridabat, Don Fernando sells both cooked and raw turkeys, as well as stuffed ones. Spokeswoman Iris Jiménez told The Tico Times that their turkeys contain no hormones and weigh 8-10 kilograms on average. Customers have the option of buying them already stuffed with a U.S.-style stuffing made with apples, raisins, celery, macadamia nuts, croutons, maple syrup, white wine and other ingredients. Carnes Don Fernando sells both imported turkeys and national turkeys, the latter tending to be smaller – a preference for some customers, Jiménez said. For more info, call 286-2535.Muñoz y Nanne. The catchall supermarket in San Pedro, east of San José, is selling Butterball turkeys imported from the United States. Muñoz y Nanne’s Francisco Vásquez told The Tico Times that the birds weigh 6-9 kilograms and should be ordered eight days in advance. The store will also sell prepared turkeys. For more information, call 253-4646.

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