Due to Avian Influenza (AI) US turkey will not be allowed into Korea this year. Even the US military will not be allowed to import into Korea.
Last year a couple thousand turkeys were imported into Korea from the US through non-military channels. None of that quantity will be available this year.
However, not all is lost. Those with base access will be able to feast on pre-cooked US turkey (Korea allows only pre-cooked turkeys). The rest of us (or the fastest 200 or so people) can buy US turkeys from High Street Market. HSM had the foresight (or pure dumb luck) to buy some prior to the AI outbreak. Early in the year is when turkey prices are cheapest, and HSM bought early, as they sell about 4-500 each year by way of raw, brined, or pre-cooked dinner sets. They got a jump on it but were unable to secure the full needed quantity.
This brings in the third and final option–Costco has found and imported turkeys from Down Under but expect some differences from US turkeys. Initial reports say they are a bit dry and the skin (lacking much fat) is nearly unchewable. Still Oz turkey is better than no turkey, chilmyeonjo-starved Americans will be quite happy to see Costco come through.
High Street has confirmed they will also use Costco turkeys as soon as their US stocks run down. They also insist their brining and cooking methods will ensure a juicy turkey regardless of origin. The HSM dinner sets outshine all others and feed about 10-12 people with everything you need to celebrate Thanksgiving in style. Roast turkey, 2 kg mashed potatos, 1 kg gravy, 1 kg stuffing, 1 kg green bean almandine, and pumpkin pie all included for around 250,000 won delivered.
See on-line or in-store details for all HSM has to offer.
Hopefully this will be just a one year issue and we can see US turkeys back next year in full swing.