CHRISTMAS is coming and for many it's the goose that's getting fat.
From venison to three-bird roasts, butchers report a surge of interest in alternatives to turkey this year.
Clare butcher Tommy Fitzgibbon said goose had come back in the last few years.
"I think it's because of the quantity of turkey that's being eaten all year round, in sandwiches and turkey steaks and what have you, it's so popular that people want a change," he said.
Beef wellington and wild venison have also become popular, as well as game options, said Clif Lenehan of Fenelon's Butchers in Stillorgan, Co Dublin.
Turkey breasts are now neck-and-neck with the full bird as the choice of many consumers. "A lot of people don't want a monstrosity of a turkey that you're eating for a week afterwards," said Mr Lenehan.
Dave Lang, of the Association of Craft Butchers, said leg of lamb or rib of beef were also popular and there has also been more interest in three-bird roasts.
The dish, comprising a chicken breast stuffed inside a duck breast, stuffed inside a turkey breast, has been made popular by US celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme.