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Have a Happy Thanksgiving, America, But When It Comes to Eating Poultry, Israel’s Still in the Lead

This past year, the average Israeli gobbled up 125 pounds of turkey, chicken, and other fowl treats

Liel Leibovitz
November 22, 2017

Remember that great line in Rocky? The one where the fighter turns to Adrian and quips “for you it’s Thanksgiving, for me it’s Thursday?” That’s what every day is like in Israel, which again defended its title this year as the world’s foremost consumer of poultry.

According to the latest data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international body founded in 1960 to stimulate international trade, the average Israeli gobbled up just over 125 pounds of poultry in 2017, making the Jewish state the world champion consumer of chicken, turkey, and other winged treats. The United States comes in second, with the average America having enjoyed 106 pounds of poultry only this past year.

But because you can never have enough of a good thing, the Israeli Poultry Farmers Association has embarked on a campaign earlier this year to encourage Israelis to eat even more turkey. While turkey shawarma is a staple of many fast food eateries, and turkey sandwiches are common lunchtime choices, Israelis rarely get creative with the big bird. To change that, the association hired Aviv Moshe, a trendy chef, to come up with recipes like turkey meatballs with corn and chocolate and turkey kebabs with roasted onions, tahini, and spicy schug sauce.

If you’re so inclined, take a look and bring a little Israeli flavor to your Thanksgiving table. It’s always good to learn from the champs.

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.