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Find the Best Local Turkey for Your Thanksgiving Meal

Sonoma County Offers Great Holiday Choices for Foodies


Turkey Day is coming soon…do you know where your turkey is? Don’t wait until the last minute to find one. For the best, most coveted birds, you need to place dibs on yours early. Here are several local places that carry the most popular poultry.

Heritage Turkeys

For years, Sylvia Mavalwalla of S & B Farm in Petaluma had a cult-like following for her Heritage Turkeys and Geese. A couple hundred of her Thanksgiving turkeys would be sold out by summer, with a few dozen of them going to restaurants such as Chez Panisse. But, sadly, Mavalwalla was stricken with arthritis not long ago and has stopped raising the fowl. Her talents have been sorely missed by foodies throughout the Bay Area. Luckily, Heritage Turkeys can still be ordered through the Russian River chapter of Slow Food America. A total of 200 turkeys are being raised by 11 young farmers who participate in Sonoma County's 4H and FFA programs. And this year, they're giving all-organic feed to the turkeys. Fill out an order form to buy one of these local Heritage Turkeys. ($7.50/lb)

Willie Bird Turkey

Willie Bird is famous for its smoked poultry, particularly for those huge, smoked turkey legs you see being devoured at Wednesday Night Market and many local festivals. But, their fresh, free-range turkeys (and organic free-range turkeys) are also a very popular choice for Thanksgiving. You can order a 10 lb to a 30 lb turkey, priced from $99 to $195 (that includes FedEx overnight delivery).


This probably isn’t the best choice for purists, but, what the turducken lacks in tradition it makes up for in panache. The turkey, which is stuffed with a duck which stuffed with a chicken, is a Southern favorite—those same folks who brought us the deep-fried turkey. But now, the turducken is making inroads into our little corner of the world and is available at Martindale's Quality Meats & Deli (5280 Aero Dr, 707-545-0531) in Santa Rosa. Order in advance ($6.99/lb)

Dungeness Crab

Speaking of traditions…when I first moved to Sonoma County, I thought I’d be a rebel and break with tradition by—gasp!—serving Dungeness Crab for Thanksgiving instead of turkey. Eh, no one batted an eyelash. Turns out that in these parts, eating fresh crab is part of the Thanksgiving tradition for plenty of folks. So, for all you Sonoma-style traditionalists, here are some
places you can find live, local crab and
directions on how to cook and clean crab.
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