This one has been lingering in the Disney-verse for a long time, and ‘Tangled’ actor Zachary Levi’s recent comments aren’t helping.
Disney’s delicious Turkey Legs are not in fact Turkey at all.
No, but they really are.
For years people have speculated that Disney’s iconic turkey legs were too large to be turkey, and that their “ham-like” flavor was proof that they were actually legs from the Emu.
This rumor is back in the fold this week because ‘Tangled’ actor Zachary Levi brought it up on Conan:
According to Snopes, Levi’s comments are just plain false, “In 2013, the New York Times ran the same claim by a turkey industry expert, who disclaimed and noted that many consumers were confused because the turkey legs sold in Disney parks are typically bigger than what people are used to seeing in their Thanksgiving dinners:
Just about everyone who comes into contact with these legs seems to have two questions: Are these really from turkeys? If so — if they’re not emu or ostrich, two urban myths — then why are they so big?
People are accustomed to Thanksgiving turkeys, which are female birds, or hens; the males, called toms, are bigger — up to 50 pounds apiece — and their legs are the ones that Disney serves, said Keith M. Williams, a vice president at the National Turkey Federation, an industry trade group.
A emu leg is eight times larger than a turkey leg, said Tim Williams of Gatorland, which had emu at its attraction. “If you’re going to walk around with an emu leg in a theme park and chew on it, you’d have to get a cart with wheels to push that thing around. They’re huge,” Williams said.
“Theme park legs don’t taste like emu, said Andrew Zimmern, the “Bizarre Foods” guy. “The meat would be a little more beefy,” he said. “Emu has the consistency of turkey leg but the flavor of roasted veal. It’s got mild beefiness to it and a little more metallic.”
But why are they so dang big then? The size can be attributed to a worldwide increase in turkey demand, said Disney’s Robert Adams, who five years ago was executive chef at Magic Kingdom. Consumers mostly want white breast meat, so growers are raising bigger turkeys, he said.”
Can we FINALLY put this one to rest?
The Top 5 Must-Have Tasty Treats at Disneyland (including TURKEY legs):