In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states.
It wasn’t until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. To this day, the centerpiece of Thanksgiving in the United States is a large meal, centered around a large roasted turkey. Thanksgiving dinner is not complete without the perfectly cooked turkey, but not all of us can be masters in the kitchen. What happens if you don’t know how to cook a turkey? Don’t sweat it! It’s not a problem because now there’s the infamous Butterball Turkey Talk-Line if you need cooking assistance.
Butterball is a brand of turkey and other poultry products produced by Butterball LLC. The company manufactures food products worldwide and specializes in turkey, deli meats, raw roasts, and other specialty products, such as soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees. Butterball operates the world’s largest turkey-processing plant in Mount Olive, North Carolina and sells over one billion pounds of turkey a year. Butterball is so popular that one in every five turkeys sold in the United States comes from them. How did this Butterball craze start, though?
Butterball has been around since 1940, but it wasn’t until late 1981 when the company decided to start a toll-free telephone line called the Turkey Talk-Line, that it skyrocketed. The mission of creating the talk-line was to help customers with cooking and preparation questions during the Thanksgiving season. During the first year of the Turkey Talk-Line, 11,000 people called in. Because of the rising popularity of the Turkey Talk-Line and the huge interest in Butterball products, the company decided to expand its business.
Butterball has a talk-line open to the public on weekdays from 8am-8pm. But it now also has a website that offers consumers the opportunity to celebrate traditional holidays and everyday meal occasions with the Butterball branded line of products. Whether it’s the annual family get-together or just a day in the office or at school, people can celebrate with Butterball turkey. Butterball’s website provides a variety of recipes and ideas and also offers tips and how-to’s. If you are a new cook or are just interested in watching videos on how to choose, thaw, stuff, roast, and carve a turkey, you now do so with Butterball.
In recent years, Butterball has become even more recognizable. The Turkey Talk-Line number has grown to over 200,000 and it continues to increase with each holiday season. There are many brands that are associated with the holiday season; the next time you grocery shop for that Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, Butterball won’t let you down. Happy holidays!
-Stephanie Bakolia, Claire Outlaw, David Glaubach