Dad Invented the Turkey Roast

When I was a boy, we lived in St. Louis, where Dad worked for the Ralston Purina Company. They had just forward integrated from selling animal feeds to raising turkeys, selling them fresh and frozen, now that most Americans had a freezer compartment in their refrigerators.

Dad was one of the first marketing people in the country and he always got business calls at home. He got a call one Halloween as we were getting our costumes on. It must have been about 1956. I remember the call because we all had to be quiet while he was talking. Then we finished dressing and went out trick-or-treating.

The next day I asked Dad about the call.

“It was the foreman calling from the turkey ranch,” he said. “We’ve been doing breeding experiments at the ranch to increase the breast size on turkeys, because consumers prefer the white meat.

“The foreman said that the experiments had been too successful, and that the turkeys‘ breasts were growing so big they were falling over forward and couldn’t stand up.”

Then his call made sense to me. I remember Dad saying on the phone “Frank, go ahead and process them, keep the white meat separate and freeze them. On Monday we’ll figure out how to sell them.”

And so Ralston Purina’s Honeysuckle White frozen turkey breast roast was born. A breeding experiment turned delicious.

Whether you’re carving your own turkey this Thanksgiving or cheating with a turkey roast, may the potatoes be fluffy, may the gravy be hot and may your family time be memorable.

Happy Thanksgiving from Rob Eskridge, Ryan Stock and Cathy Halvorson.

Growth Management Center

Recent Posts

See All