My daughter had a few foods she wanted to try while on our trip to Orlando.  One of the things she was looking forward to was a turkey leg at Universal Studios in Orlando.  When we finally got one, we were surprised that it didn't even taste like turkey.  It turns out, that they might not be.

You read that right.  What is advertised as a turkey leg, might not be turkey at all.

It tastes a lot like ham, or corned beef.  Honestly, it was delicious.  So I had to ask, "what the heck do you guys do to those turkey legs to make them taste so good?  Are they cured differently or something like they do with corned beef?"

The response I got was a little unsettling.  The girl at the stand said, "do you really want to know?"

Of course I want to know.  I just ate what I thought was the most delicious turkey leg ever.  How did you do it?  Then I was reminded by my daughter that it's rumored that the turkey legs aren't even turkey at all.  The girl said, "Don't you think if it was really turkey, it would be red?"

Well, after she said that, it was a little strange that the meat was a red color, but that happens when things get smoked.  They turn more on the red side.  So it was time to come out with it and ask, "Is it actually turkey?"

The look on her face said it all.  It wasn't turkey.  So I came out with the second question, "Is it Emu?" (That was the rumor that my daughter had read on the internet.)

Sure enough, the second girl at the stand confirmed it.  "Yup, it says here that it is Emu," as she looked through a book with nutritional facts.


How can you serve me an emu leg and say it's turkey?  What if I was allergic?  Why not just say it's emu?  Again, I'm going to reiterate that it was delicious!  But it clearly says on the machine that it's a turkey leg.

We had to try the ones at Disney too, just to see if they were the same thing.  They definitely tasted different.  They were less like the ham taste that we had two days in a row at Universal Studios.

According to an article on Snopes, the executive chef at Disney claims that they are what they advertise.  His response is that the turkey legs that most people are accustomed to come from hens, what they serve at Disney are from the toms and that's why they taste so different.

So I just wanted you to be aware.  If you're interested in trying something new, emu might be up your alley and you can get it at Universal Studios in Orlando.  But if you're looking for turkey, you might want to wait until Thanksgiving and watch it get carved from the bird.

I'll never look at turkey legs the same again.

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