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Turkey meat substitute

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A Sorry Excuse for a Turkey

  • Nov 12, 2009
  • by
I hate tofurky. I hate the idea of a tofurky. And I get offended when people expect me to eat tofurky.

It’s a bland, chewy, tasteless roll of fake meat, containing mushy under seasoned stuffing, and vacuum sealed into a plastic bag. It even retains the shape of the plastic bag, and resembles a log when served on the table.

I thought tofurky was an urban myth, made up by some crazy vegan. I certainly had never seen on at any of my holiday meals. The idea of fake meat overall still confuses me a little, but to try and substitute an entire turkey is a really confusing idea.

One year, at my lovely god-mothers house for Thanksgiving, she told me she had gotten a Tofurky for me, because A) she thought I would feel left out and B) she and her daughter were also curious to try it.

I was grateful that my god mother was so thoughtful, but I highly doubted I was going to feel left out, since everything else she was making for dinner was also vegetarian. Eggplant parmesan, stuffing, stuffed mushrooms, green beans, mashed potatoes, anti-pasta, salad, and homemade cheesecake. Plus a gallon of other treats I don’t even recall. But there was plenty.

Anyway, the tofurky was left to defrost on the counter, next to the real turkey. It looked sad in its little plastic casing, next to this giant Heritage turkey and kept trying to roll off the counter anytime someone came in contact with it.

It baked for three hours, in the oven with the stuffing and some potatoes, and came out right in time for dinner. I think you are supposed to chop off the two ends, that retain the shape of the casing and make it look particularly unappetizing, but we forgot, so I got the ends with the unfortunate looking tail.

It was flavorless, rubbery and overall unappealing. Its actually very similar to chewing on rubber. I don’t know what turkey tastes like, but I hope it taste nothing like a tofurky. I wish the taste was more similar to the fake chicken that Morningstar or Trader Joes makes, but it does not.

Everyone was really happy that I had my own little turkey to eat, but I wish they would have forgotten about it so I could slip it under the table to the cats. But I wouldn't even want to subject them to that gross food either. The insides were almost as terrible as the actual tofurky itself. A lot of cranberry sauce and gravy was used to mask the taste of it.

My god sister tried some too, took one bite, gave me a look that only god sisters can give to each other, and pushed it to the side.

It sat in the fridge untouched for a week, long after all the other yummy leftovers were gone, until finally I tossed it.

I wish I had never seen that tofurky, because I wouldn’t have to waste perfectly good dinner plate space on it. There are so many wonderful option to eat at any Thanksgiving, a tofurky is completely unnecessary.

People always joke around with me, asking, so what DO you eat for Thanksgiving, tofurky?? I just have to nicely reply no, I eat basically EVERYTHING else because tofurky is disgusting.

If you are thinking about trying out a tofurky for your Thanksgiving, I recommend spending you time and money on something else. If you really feel you need a protein substitute, try marinating your own tempeh or making a Portobello mushroom entrée, they are savory satisfying and delicious, and do not come vacuum packed.
A Sorry Excuse for a Turkey

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August 01, 2011
Just asking......Why is it OK to be offended if someone offers you tofurky, but not when someone expects you to eat turkey? As a vegetarian for more than 20 years, it's offensive for me to go to parties or dinners where there's little else to eat except pieces of dead animal.
May 12, 2011
I thought it tasted like a slimy cardboard box.
November 25, 2009
Gotta say... this thing looks dreadful - thanks for the warning! Sounds like you'd be better with a bottle of wine instead. :-)
November 13, 2009
I personally have never had Tofurkey, but I've not heard many good things about it. So far, I've been able to get tofu and veggie products that taste similar to most meats, but steak, roast pork, roast chicken and turkey seem to be trickier.
November 12, 2009
I have never tried Tofurky but was always curious about it. Now I know to STAY. AWAY. Thanks for saving me a few bucks! PS What fake meats do you like, if any? Do you eat any of the fake lunchmeats or sausages or anything?
November 12, 2009
It's really weird, for some reason, I'm OBSESSED with veggie hotdogs, but its more the idea of the hotdog then the taste of it, because most aren't that good. I don't like lunchmeats, and I HATE fake beef. I do like the Morningstar breaded Chick'n and the Chick'n nuggets. I also like soy churizo, in eggs. I'm always down to try other products though, if you have any recommendations.
November 12, 2009
Hahe veggie hotdogs are really good! I think it's because hot dogs are pretty gross in general, so any veggie grossness just makes sense. Or something. I'm starting to move away from the lunchmeats myself....I usually only use the veggie Italian links and Yves ground "beef" in pastas. You hate fake beef eh? Have you ever had seitan cooked to be a beef-like substitute? I was never a beef eater when I ate meat, but i CANNOT. GET. ENOUGH. of the seitan beef. So, so good!
November 12, 2009
Phew! Glad to hear a vegetarian have disdain for Tofurky. I was veg for 10 years, so I got offered Tofurkey A LOT, and I thought it was totally gross. I would've slipped under the table for the pets, too! Their gravy, on the other hand, is not too bad.  Though ever since I found a good veg gravy recipe, I stopped buying the Tofurkey gravy.
November 13, 2009
You just reminded me of when I first tried making tofu buffalo chicken and some fell on the floor and the dog wouldn't even eat it! LOL!
November 14, 2009
HAHAHAHA, that bad, eh? :P
More Tofurky reviews
review by . December 24, 2009
My purpose in this review is to eliminate the misconceptions associated with vegan foods. I have been a vegan for over three years now, and have eaten a Tofurky each Thanksgiving since then. For anyone that does not know, a vegan does not consume any animal products, i.e. meat, dairy, honey, eggs, etc. A Tofurky is a vegan/vegetarian alternative to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey dinner, made up of wheat gluten and tofu. On the inside of the "log" is a wild rice stuffing, and, …
Quick Tip by . November 25, 2009
Though it's great that veggies have an option, I still can't get over Tofurkey tasting like rubbery doo doo.
About the reviewer
Aria Juliet Castillo ()
Ranked #44
I'm a graphic designer, originally from Hawaii and now I'm living it up in L.A.   I've been a vegetarian my entire life, but I am still obsessed with fast food, and I love eating … more
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Tofurky, Turtle Island Foods' trademark for its meat substitute, is a turkey meat substitute made from a blend of wheat gluten, or seitan, and organic tofu. The company uses it for many of their meatless products, including deli slices, sausages, jerky, tempeh, burgers, and franks. All Tofurky products are vegan and approved by the Vegan Society, and most are kosher-certified by the Kosher Supervision of America.

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