Why Is My Turkey Wearing Frilly Paper Hats On Its Legs?

Donning a chef’s hat while you cook Thanksgiving dinner is one thing, but sticking a tiny one on the end of each crispy turkey leg seems like it might be taking the holiday a bit too far. Over the years, these traditional paper coverings have been called many creative names, including turkey frills, turkey booties, and even turkey panties. While they’ve fallen out of fashion in recent decades, they originally served a very specific purpose. Paper trimmings gained popularity in the 17th century as a way for women to keep their hands clean while they carved meat during a time prior to the introduction of the carving fork. When etiquette books started encouraging “lady carvers” to use carving forks, the paper didn’t become obsolete — it just got frillier.