The Tofurky DialoguesNov 20, 2014
It’s a vegan “roast” made primarily from tofu and wheat gluten. It smells strange, is oblong shaped, and said to taste like turkey, at least by vegans who’ve either never eaten real turkey or have very distant and feeble memories of having eaten it. According to Turtle Island Foods, Tofurky is a gourmet vegan “roast and gravy” product made from “a revolutionary tofu-wheat protein blend, known for its incredible, turkey-like texture and flavor. “
Is it really “incredible” and “revolutionary”?
I might seem so if you’ve been dining on Approximeat, Roast Almost, Soyloin, Sham Ham or Wham.
Tell me about that ingredient “vital wheat gluten?”
It gives the Tofurky creature its signature wet and wild look. I’d call it wheaty, gluey, pasty and corpselike, not vital. Only a gluten for punishment would recommend it, given how many people today suffer from gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.
If you aren’t gluten sensitive, would Tofurky be a good way to “practice safe soy” this Thanksgiving?
No, with a name like that you could die laughing. . .
Do you think it has health benefits?
Absolutely. The taste and smell would keep you from overeating!
Seriously, isn’t it loaded with soy and flavored by MSG?
Hard to believe, but Tofurky actually has few flavorings compared to most meat analogue products. The Turtle Island company also uses no soy protein isolate, soy protein concentrate, hydrolyzed plant protein, textured vegetable protein or other modern, industrialized soy proteins manufactured using high temperatures, high pressure, acid and alkaline baths and hexane solvents. And Turtle Island takes care to use only non GMO ingredients. The biggest problem by far is the wheat gluten! That’s the second ingredient, after water, which is the first. I’m also no fan of canola oil though I’m glad the canola oil in Tofurky is non GMO.
Canola oil in Tofurky? Why not soy oil?
Soy oil’s in there too as it comes naturally in the tofu. I guess they decided there was no reason to soy-l it more. The added lube comes from canola oil. If you don’t want the Tofurky bird to dry out, you are instructed to baste it with olive oil during the roasting process.
Sounds like a lot of oil. I thought the Tofurky bird was low in fat?
Hardly. The creature is a shapeless blob with no bones or muscles whatsoever. Its so fat it can’t even move unless you wrap it tightly with shrink wrap and give it a big push.
How good is the fat in a real turkey?
No good at all if you are talking about a supermarket brand “buttered up” with injections of soy oil , water and MSG.
Other than the injections, the fatty acid profile of turkey meat depends on the source, and it varies depending upon the diet fed the turkey. Typical fatty acid composition of turkey fat in the U.S. is less than 1 percent myristic acid, 22 percent palmitic acid, 6 percent palmitoleic acid, 6 percent stearic acid, 38 percent oleic acid, 22 percent omega 6 linoleic acid and 1 percent omega 3 linolenic acid. People are always surprised that poultry contains so much monounsaturated fat. The oleic and palmitoleic acids together come to 44 percent monounsaturates. These figures would probably not change much with the organic turkeys sold in the chain health food stores because they are still fed corn and soy, just not GMO corn and soy. Few of those turkeys spend enough time in the great outdoors to be considered free range. Best to get heritage-breed turkeys that hunt and peck and eat bugs,worms and grass in the wild. The omega 3 and EPA, DHA fatty acid levels in those turkeys are much improved.
If you were going to serve Tofurky, how would you improve the taste?
Wrap well with artesanal bacon. The real thing, not fakin’ bakin. Eat bacon, hide the Tofurky in a napkin and toss.
Do the PETA folks like Tofurky?
Of course! Last year PETA campaigned to rename Turkey, Texas, Tofurky, Texas. The town demurred even though PETA offered a full course vegan Thanksgiving meal for the entire town if they changed their name.
What did Dr. Seuss think of Tofurky?
Dunno, though I think he kept a flock of Australorps X Ameracauna hens for the green eggs he liked with his ham. If he’d actually met a Tofurky, I think we’d have deathless prose such as, “Why did Tofurky cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, Tofurky crossed the road, but how it crossed I’ve not been told.”
How could Tofurky cross the road?
Tofurky could roll if given a good push. But if he crossed on his own, we’d have to ask, did Tofurky really cross the road or did the road move under Tofurky?
Why did Tofurky cross the road?
To see Gregory Peck?
Gregory can no longer peck. Why did Tofurky cross the road?
To meet up with Mr. Tofu?
Mr. Tofu supposedly “met his match” at the LA Tofu Festival. Why did Tofurky cross the road?
To go to the dork side!
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© copyright 2014 Kaayla T. Daniel
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