|Resting Stew Leonard's turkey|
That gorgeous and tasty Thanksgiving bird pictured above is not the result the hours of my labor but of a simple phone call to Stew Leonard's in Yonkers, NY.
Me to Stew Leonard's Chef: Hi. I have severe food allergies to tree nuts and fish and I’m calling about your cooked turkeys. Can you tell me what’s in the marinade?
Stew Leonard's Chef: Of course! (He lists ingredients of marinade, all safe for me.)
Me: Where you make the turkeys...are there any tree nuts in the area? Will this bird come into contact with tree nuts?
Chef: Nope, just turkeys. They don’t come into contact with any tree nuts.
Me: And in the marinade? Are there any hidden fishy ingredients, like Worcestershire sauce? I know you already listed all the ingredients, but I need to double check.
Chef: (Laughs) Yes, we stuff the turkey with fish! No seriously, only the marinade ingredients that I told you. Worcestershire has anchovy, we’d never use that.
Me: (Laughs) Yes, not everyone knows that.
Chef: I’m Culinary Institute of America trained. I know all about allergens, there are no tree nuts or fish in our turkeys.
Me: Thank you!
Chef: Of course, any more questions, I’m here (and he gives me his name).
Here’s a picture of their Turkey making production line at Stew Leonard’s from their Facebook page:
|Courtesy of Stew Leonard's|
Some background: for the last few years I’ve spent thanksgiving with my cousins in Connecticut and they’ve been buying and serving the Stew Leonard's turkey. I’ve enjoyed it for years without issue. As ingredients and formulations change, I call every year to have the same conversation with the Chef at Stew Leonard's. And every year, I’ve been fine.
*But please note: This is not a risk free turkey. It is made outside of my home by hands other than mine. I’m not suggesting this for you or your family buy Stew Leonard's turkeys but letting you know that I took that leap of faith and it was delicious. And of course, I always have my emergency plan and medications on me, even at my mother’s house, a totally safe place. *