Tofurky is a trademark of Turtle Island Foods, a company based in Hood River, Oregon, United States. Turtle Island has come to also use the brand name for most of its meatless products, such as deli slices, sausages, jerky, tempeh (its first product), burgers, and franks. All of the Tofurky products are fully vegan and approved by the Vegan Society, and most are kosher-certified by the Kosher Supervision of America. The product name is a portmanteau of "tofu" and "turkey" into a single word which sounds like a spoonerism of "faux turkey".
Seth Tibbott founded Turtle Island Foods in 1980, having become a vegetarian while in college, and the Tofurky product was introduced in 1995. In 2019, Tofurky was party in a lawsuit, along with the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, Good Food Institute, and Animal Legal Defense Fund, against the Arkansas law To Require Truth in Labeling of Agricultural Products that Are Edible by Humans. The law prohibits using terminology traditionally associated with animal products for their non-animal substitutes. This means that Tofurky and other meat substitute brands can no longer use terms like "veggie burger" or "veggie dog" in their product labeling.
The Tofurky roast is found in health food grocery stores; however, availability is limited in some areas. Inside the box, it comes in the form of a small but dense roast, wrapped tightly in a disposable casing, and is something 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. The Whole Foods store chain is a major seller of Tofurky products.
Nutrition and health
Nutritional information for equal servings of Tofurky and equivalent meat products is available online, allowing interested people to compare sodium, fat, cholesterol, and protein. The company does not use trans fat and the product has no cholesterol since it is 100% vegan.
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 the soy and/or wheat gluten used in most meat alternatives, Tofurky is not an option (see the end of the page for alternatives).
The Tofurky is pre-stuffed and sealed at the ends to enclose the stuffing. It cooks in one hour and fifteen minutes if thawed or three hours and fifteen minutes if frozen. Because the product has a uniform texture, it slices easily. Tofurky is seitan and soy based and was created to have a texture similar to that of meat products; the vegetable-based turkey-like flavorings are intended to make it comparable to traditional Thanksgiving fare. In order to make the product as similar to flesh as they intended, its creators designed the roast so that it tears off at a forty-five degree angle with the grain.
- List of meat substitutes
- Macrobiotic diet
- Nut roast, a typically home-made, nut based main dish
- Tofurkey, common name for some kinds of turkey alternatives served at holidays
- Veggie burger
- "FAQs - Tofurky". Tofurky. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
- "The history of Tofurkey". ABC 7 San Francisco. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
- Brown, Adam (November 24, 2011). "The Story Behind A Guy's $14 Million Tofurky Business". Business Insider.
- Mole, Beth (24 July 2019). "Arkansas' ban on veggie-meat labels is total bologna, says Tofurky". Ars Technica. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
- "Where Does Your Tofurky Come From?". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
- Ashton, Edwards. "What is ‘Tofurky’ and why eat it?", Fox13, 24 November 2014. Retrieved on 24 December 2014.
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- "Yum For All - Tofurky". Tofurky. Retrieved 2018-11-22.
- "Our Roots - Tofurky". Tofurky. Retrieved 2018-11-22.