Say it ain’t so! According to Zachary Levi, the voice of Flynn Rider (aka Eugene Fitzherbert) in Tangled and Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, the turkey legs at Disneyland aren’t turkey at all. No, those meaty behemoths are actually emu legs, said Levi, and we’re now questioning everything we thought we knew.
You know the old saying, “If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck?” Well, apparently if it looks like a turkey and it tastes like a turkey, it might actually be an emu!
During a March 2017 interview with Conan O’Brien, Levi enlightened viewers to the Disneyland conspiracy. “I have friends that have worked for Disneyland,” Levi said, “and I was talking about how the turkey legs tasted more like ham than they did like turkey, and they said, ‘Well they’re actually emu.'”
“So, if you’ve had a turkey leg at Disneyland, you’ve eaten an emu, folks,” Levi proclaimed. We’re boggled.
We have so many questions. Like, why do turkey legs at the renaissance fair and other theme parks all taste the same? Are they all also serving us emu in some giant poultry conspiracy hi-jink? If so, where are the emu farms to supply this mass charade?
Personally, we are of the opinion that the turkey legs don’t actually taste like ham, and rather true to what smoked dark meat turkey should taste like, but that could just be a matter of opinion.
O’Brien also didn’t buy Levi’s “fact,” and called his theory an urban myth — and he might be onto something. According to Delish, the emu leg rumor has been circulating the internet since at least 2010, when Disney-heads debated back and forth on the issue via Theme Park Insider.
In 2012, Robert Adams, executive chef at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, added his two (and most likely true) cents, telling The Orlando Sentinel, “We hear that all the time. They’re real turkeys. It’s what they are.”[fm_youtube url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ln35N07LAjc"]
According to Snopes, the urban legend fact-checking site, the New York Times sought the opinion of turkey expert Keith M. Williams. Williams stated that Disneyland legs are harvested from male turkeys rather than female turkeys, which are the ones we’re used to seeing on the Thanksgiving table.
Tom turkeys are larger, hence the size of the Disneyland turkey legs.
Snopes also notes that the Sentinel produced a followup emu-gate story in 2017 and consulted food expert Andrew Zimmern, of the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods fame. Zimmern said turkey and emu taste completely different — therefore he can conclude that Disneyland is serving turkey. If there’s a guy we’d trust to know what exotic meats really taste like, it’s definitely him.
“Emu has the consistency of turkey leg but the flavor of roasted veal,” Zimmern said. “It’s got mild beefiness to it and a little more metallic.”
It’s all convincing evidence. But now that we’ve heard the Disneyland-turkey-isn’t-really-turkey rumor, we’ll never look at those legs the same way again.
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