I wonder why halved spatchcocked turkeys are not sold (at least I never saw one). Especially in these times when gatherings are small and small turkeys are rare?
Poultry farms which sell retail sold halved 20+ pounders this year as an option. In past years, I have seen them in supermarkets the week after Thanksgiving and Christmas. You wouldn’t need to spatchcock a bird that’s already been halved along back and breastbone.
I can’t view the entire culture, only the little corner of it that directly touches me - but I wonder if there’s a feeling for some people that if it’s not a whole turkey then it’s “just not right somehow”. Certainly there’s another group who don’t need there to be a turkey at all, and for that group, half a turkey would be one good option among many. I agree with you that cutting most turkeys in half would certainly have been a reasonable move in 2020. But maybe the turkey industry leaders believe tradition is the reason for most turkey purchases, and they don’t want the turkey business to start looking non-traditional? Or they believe that once a person starts considering alternatives, “something completely different” usually wins out over “part of a turkey”?
I think there is a lot to that. “Tradition” comforts many of us. Especially during stressful times like these. I have read so much about people cooking turkey because that’s the way it’s always been done, but they focus on the other parts of the meal. Turkey is the physical centerpiece of the meal, but it reality it’s just a supporting player.
I like your cultural perspective on the holiday feast. Some people just don’t want to mess with the script for Thanksgiving. When I was a year abroad in college away from the USA, and Thanksgiving meant nothing to the locals, I felt oddly isolated.