tofurky 101

by Stevie on December 8, 2010

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tofurky roast packaging

tofurky roast packaging

I don’t know about you, but at my house, the Holiday season means one thing: tofurky time. My friends and loved ones look forward to carving these artificial turkeys annually as part of our “traditional” Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations.

Often when I mention to casual acquaintances that a tofurky roast will be the center of our festive dinner celebration, I’m met either with blank stares, or bombarded with several incredulous follow up questions. Today, I aim to put those nagging queries to rest, so here we go.

Is tofurky the same shape as turkey?

No. Tofurkys look like cantaloupe sized, slightly oblong, tan colored spheres. To me they seem like extra fat sausages, or perhaps small American footballs that have had the ends flattened.

Does tofurky taste like turkey?

Well, that’s tricky. Since the center is hollow, they come filled with a wild rice stuffing that is traditional. Actually, when sliced, the color of the tofurky has a similar look to sliced turkey. The texture is different. I think that it is rubbery, certainly more so than the traditional bird. Tofurky is flavored and has a taste reminiscent of turkey.

Is tofurky made from white fish, like imitation crab?

I think that this is the most sophisticated and creative tofurky question that I have ever heard. Of course, the answer is no. There is no fish in a tofurky roast. In fact, according to the Tofurky web site, all tofurky products are vegan.

Aside from the holiday roast, the Tofurky Company produces numerous other tofurky-based foods. I’ve enjoyed their sausages grilled at summer barbecues more than once, for instance.

And finally, the question that everyone invariably asks:

Do you ever miss the “real thing?”

Actually, no. Why would I?

carved tofurky roast does look a bit like carved turkey

carved tofurky roast does look a bit like carved turkey

Personally, I’m still on the fence about “fake meat.” What is the point of becoming vegetarian, vegan or merely pescatarian if you insist on eating meat replacement foods? This may be more of a philosophical issue rather than a practical one.

Gradually I am changing my tune. For example, I have recently enjoyed dining at a Loving Hut vegan restaurant at the Westfield Shopping Center food court in downtown San Francisco. They use a lot of “fake meat” in their wonderful soups (though I have the sense that they call these tofu and gluten items something other than “fake meat”). Also, Golden Era, a vegan restaurant in the Tenderloin, offers all of their dishes with “chicken,” “shrimp,” “beef,” or what have you. These are all synthetic meat products, which surprisingly are very tasty. In fact, I recently made what I thought was a very effective vegetarian Bolognaise ragu using soy chorizo. Using the same product, Hegui made a yummy and healthy soy chorizo white chili.

I suspect, like wine, thoughts and feelings on meat and meat alternatives are up to the individual taster. Whatever your traditional holiday menu, enjoy it heartily and wisely!!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

ritatower December 8, 2010 at 10:21 am

I enjoyed your comments on meat substitutes. I have had a few tofurky T-Day’s myself. I really like the picture you have of it and it does look roasted nicely. I know what you mean about being a veggie and then eating fake meat and it is hard to understand why people would want to even call the gluten or tofu meat if they feel so strongly against eating it. It must be philosophical because maybe it is so ingrained in our society meat is food or part of a whole meal. I was looking forward to eating turkey so much this year but then when I did I was sort of let down even though it was organic and free range I honestly was completely satisfied with all the veggie sides…potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, and stuffing.

Heavenly Housewife December 10, 2010 at 1:13 am

I never heard of this product before. I am curious and I’d love to see what it’s like, although in all honesty, Mr P would not approve LOL. If he thought i was trying to serve him “fake meat” he might cry!!!
*kisses* HH

Damaris @Kitchen Corners December 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

Thanks for posting this. I’ve made tofurky twice and I think it’s great!

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