Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is the turkey a Greek bird?

A few years ago we were invited to a friends house for Thanksgiving, here in Greece. The guests were a group of not only Americans and Greeks but also a variety of nationalities. I was asked by the hostess to come up with something to tell the guests about Thanksgiving. She knew I would come up with some convincing lies, hopefully entertaining.

There is a Greek winery called Hadzimichalis, I brought some bottles, they use a Turkey as their logo. That was the start, how could a Greek company use a bird as the logo that was not indigenous, not possible.

The turkey has to be Greek.

Now, how did the turkey get to North America to be supposedly reintroduced to Europe?

Simple, since Columbus was Greek, he obviously took turkeys with him on his trip of discovery. People believe that he was Italian, supposedly because he was a Genovese. Genoa was the center of a kingdom that included Chios and other Greek islands. It is obvious that he was from Chios. He would have taken Greek seamen from the various islands and when he passed the Peloponnesus, he stocked up with turkeys for fresh meat on the trip.

There is other proof that he was Greek, he went to the new world three times and insisted he had found the new route to India. Must be Greek, he was as stubborn as could be, he never admitted he could be wrong.

Back to the turkeys...

The trip was shorter than they expected, they arrived with a bunch of turkeys and released them in North America, to stock up with other types of animals for the trip home.

Another aside, while in NY one year, during the Columbus day parade, I, asked somebody watching the parade who looked like he was out of the Sopranos, why were there Italian flags in the parade? He turned to me and told me Columbus was Italian. When I insisted that he was Greek, for a second I thought I might be in trouble, he started to back away to try to escape this lunatic, me. I got away from that OK; just dumb Greek luck I guess. Do not tell Italians that Columbus was Greek, they have no real sense of accurate history, and you just may get thumped.

At the dinner, some people were laughing, some believed it and all the Greeks were assuring me that he was truly from Chios. It is heavily documented on the Internet and there is a group on Facebook.

The turkey must be from Greece, since the Hadjimichalis winery uses it as their logo.

I have to think about why it is called turkey in the US and gallopoula in Greek (French chicken). In the US they probably made the mistake of confusing Chios with Turkey. I have to work on this French chicken thing.

Be careful on how you use this information, it is a very touchy subject, Italian Americans are very rigid, even violent on the subject, while animal enthusiasts are really hung up with the myth that the turkey originated in the new world, they confuse it with tomatoes


  1. Greg, You get funnier every day. The fun part is that some of this is probably true but I think you are the real turkey. I am still laughing.

  2. Great bullshit needs a touch of truth

  3. How the simple turkey can change everything...