Who Invented the Turducken?

Whether you interpret this question as "Who's to thank for the turducken?" or "Who's to blame for the turducken?" the answer is equally muddled.

Nearly every attempt to trace the history of the turducken—chicken stuffed inside of a duck, which is then stuffed into a turkey—cites early examples of similar poultry nesting dolls from the 18th or 19th century. The 1774 book The Art of Cookery contains a recipe for "Yorkshire Christmas Pie" that involves stuffing pigeon, partridge, fowl, goose, and finally turkey all into one another. Several sources claim that, in 1807, Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière, a famous Napoleonic-era gastronomist, served a rôti sans pareil, or "roast without equal," that applied the same principle to what may have been as many as 17 different birds. An American reference pops up in the 1832 diaries of John B. Grimball for a "Charleston preserve of fowl" that included dove, quail, guinea hen, duck, capon, goose, and either a turkey or peacock.

With precedents like that, the three-bird turducken doesn't seem quite so extreme. But still, credit is contested. The honor is often awarded to Paul Prudhomme, a celebrity chef who claimed to have invented the Thanksgiving indulgence at a lodge in Wyoming (although he wouldn't say when). Prudhomme himself, however, was from Louisiana, and was credited during his lifetime with popularizing Cajun and Creole cuisines—a notable fact that lends some credence to a less widely-circulated theory that turducken actually stems from a specific nine-bird dish created by the owner of Corinne Dunbar's, a Creole restaurant in New Orleans.

Prudhomme's recipe for turducken appears in his 1987 cookbook, and it was around then that he started serving the decadent dish at his New Orleans restaurant, K-Paul. Elsewhere in Louisiana, at a butcher shop in Maurice, brothers Junior and Sammy Hebert claim that while Prudhomme's celebrity status helped raise the dish's profile, they actually beat him to the invention—at least of the name. Junior has said that, in 1984, a farmer came into his shop with a chicken, a duck, and a turkey asking to have them stuffed. Junior improvised, putting the three together before filling the cavity with cornbread stuffing and calling the whole thing a "turducken." Unfortunately for the Hebert brothers, Prudhomme would go on to trademark the name in 1986.

Although we'll never know for sure who first engineered or named the turducken, it's largely uncontested that football announcer John Madden gets credit for making it a phenomenon.

''The first one I ever had I was doing a game in New Orleans,'' Madden told The New York Times in 2002. ''The P.R. guy for the Saints brought me one. And he brought it to the booth. It smelled and looked so good. I didn't have any plates or silverware or anything, and I just started eating it with my hands.'' That game wasn't on Thanksgiving, but Madden liked the dish so much he brought it back for his holiday broadcast and it quickly became a Thanksgiving tradition.

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TASCHEN
Everything You Need to Know About Food in One Book
TASCHEN
TASCHEN

If you find yourself mixing up nigiri and sashimi at sushi restaurants or don’t know which fruits are in season, then this is the book for you. Food & Drink Infographics, published by TASCHEN, is a colorful and comprehensive guide to all things food and drink.

The book combines tips and tricks with historical context about the ways in which different civilizations illustrated and documented the foods they ate, as well as how humans went from hunter-gatherers to modern-day epicureans. As for the infographics, there’s a helpful graphic explaining the number of servings provided by different cake sizes, a heat index of various chilies, a chart of cheeses, and a guide to Italian cold cuts, among other delectable charts.

The 480-page coffee table book, which can be purchased on Amazon for $56, is written in three languages: English, French, and German. The infographics themselves come from various sources, and the text is provided by Simone Klabin, a New York City-based writer and lecturer on film, art, culture, and children’s media.

Keep scrolling to see a few of the infographics featured in the book.

An infographic about cheese
TASCHEN

An infographic about cakes
Courtesy of TASCHEN

An infographic about fruits in season
Courtesy of TASCHEN
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iStock
'Lime Disease' Could Give You a Nasty Rash This Summer
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iStock

A cold Corona or virgin margarita is best enjoyed by the pool, but watch where you’re squeezing those limes. As Slate illustrates in a new video, there’s a lesser-known “lime disease,” and it can give you a nasty skin rash if you’re not careful.

When lime juice comes into contact with your skin and is then exposed to UV rays, it can cause a chemical reaction that results in phytophotodermatitis. It looks a little like a poison ivy reaction or sun poisoning, and some of the symptoms include redness, blistering, and inflammation. It’s the same reaction caused by a corrosive sap on the giant hogweed, an invasive weed that’s spreading throughout the U.S.

"Lime disease" may sound random, but it’s a lot more common than you might think. Dermatologist Barry D. Goldman tells Slate he sees cases of the skin condition almost daily in the summer. Some people have even reported receiving second-degree burns as a result of the citric acid from lime juice. According to the Mayo Clinic, the chemical that causes phytophotodermatitis can also be found in wild parsnip, wild dill, wild parsley, buttercups, and other citrus fruits.

To play it safe, keep your limes confined to the great indoors or wash your hands with soap after handling the fruit. You can learn more about phytophotodermatitis by checking out Slate’s video below.

[h/t Slate]

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