Greenberg Smoked Turkeys Have Been 2020ed

“Getting a Greenberg Turkey from Pawpaw was like breath, you could count on it always being there,” said Gayl Braymer, a Dallas resident.

“Greenberg Turkeys are part of our family holidays going back to the 1950s. My father bought them for our family, then for my children and nieces until he died at 103 years old,” Braymer added.

The holidays will look different this year because of the pandemic, but late Saturday in East Texas, another holiday tradition was derailed when the Greenberg Smoked Turkey shipping facility apparently exploded, destroying the facility and its inventory.

According to a statement on the company’s website and Facebook pages, the company will be unable to fill any orders this year and all orders placed will be fully refunded.  The company plans to rebuild and “be back stronger in 2021.”

I call this being 2020ed.

Turkey tributes have been pouring in from customers in grief that a holiday tradition they counted on has been taken away, like so many other things this year. M’Liss Johnson, a Ft. Worth resident in her 50s told me that her parents are from East Texas and “this will be the first Thanksgiving of my life not to have a Greenberg Turkey.”

Jennifer Hairston Drummond also lamented the loss, as one of her favorite day-after-Thanksgiving traditions is making Smoked Turkey and Hatch Chile Enchiladas. 

Paul Wackym, owner of Wackym’s Kitchen gourmet cookies even offered to help Greenberg distribute any salvageable product, “to deliver the traditions that so many people have come to adore and to keep their staff employed through this tough year. We all need normalcy, and a holiday turkey provides that.”

Central Market has distributed Greenberg Turkeys for years, though its website currently indicates the hickory-smoked turkeys are sold out.  I’ve reached out to Central Market for a statement but as of press time, they haven’t responded. UPDATE: Stephen Butt, president of Central Market/H-E-B Division offers his condolences to Greenberg Turkeys.

“We deeply regret this unfortunate incident which has impacted the Greenberg family and the many employees of Greenberg Smoked Turkey, Inc. Central Market – and our customers – have enjoyed our long-time relationship with this Texas-based specialty brand for many years. We wish them all the very best in their recovery efforts.”

People Newspapers’ Holiday Hootenanny contest results are in, please be on the lookout for the list of the winners and a working list of places to buy your holiday meals.

Kersten Rettig

Kersten Rettig is an eater, drinker, cooker, writer and former restaurant owner with a deep affection for all things food and beverage related. The Park Cities resident has a food blog and Instagram called The Kickshaw Papers. Follow her @KickshawPapers.

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