Tofurky, Turtle Island Foods' trademark for its meat substitute, is 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, and franks. All Tofurky products are entirely vegan and approved by the UK Vegan Society, and most are kosher-certified by the Kosher Supervision of America.
Purchase and preparation
The Tofurky roast is commonly found in health food groceries. Inside the box, the small but dense roast is wrapped tightly in a disposable casing, and is somewhat of a rounded loaf in shape. It comes stuffed with mushrooms, herbs, and wild rice. Though the roast can be purchased separately, it is also offered as part of a meal with cranberry-apple-potato dumplings, gravy, and "wishstix" made from Tofurky Jurky, a meatless jerky product.
As part of a holiday meal
Tofurky is very popular in the vegetarian community, whose members eschew turkey meat for health and/or ethical reasons, but enjoy celebrating holidays with traditional meals. The product may be part of a completely vegetarian meal that includes vegetarian and/or vegan updates of other classics (such as pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, and meatless gravy), or served alongside turkey at a more traditional table to accommodate vegetarian guests.
Nutrition & health
Nutritional information for equal servings of Tofurky and turkey is available online, allowing customers to compare calories, fat, cholesterol, and protein. Tofurky is lower in calories and fat, and contains neither saturated fat nor cholesterol; its protein offerings are slightly lower than those of turkey.
Turtle Foods has indicated that it no longer uses certain controversial soy products, and only uses non-GMO soybeans.. The roast is vegan, which also means it is suitable for those with egg or milk allergies; but for those who suffer from allergies to soy and/or wheat gluten (used in most meat alternatives), Tofurky is not an option.
The Tofurky is pre-stuffed (and sealed at the ends to enclose the stuffing), cooks quickly, and requires none of the internal cleaning necessary for a homecooked bird. The boneless structure and simple shape make it easy to slice, requiring no special knives or techniques. However, though Tofurky is generally less expensive than a large holiday bird, availability is quite limited in some areas.
Similarity to turkey
Additionally, as it is seitan-based, the Tofurky has a very "meaty" texture, and the vegetable-based flavorings make it comparable to traditional Thanksgiving fare; while this wins over many vegetarians (and a number of omnivores), the similarities to meat can certainly be off-putting to some. Turtle Island Foods even boasts that "if you tear a piece of Tofurky you will notice that it shears at a 45 degree angle, like meat, not at 90 degrees like other products."