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Tofurkey (a portmanteau of tofu and turkey) is faux turkey – a loaf or casserole of vegetarian protein, usually made from tofu (soybean protein) or seitan (wheat protein) with a stuffing made from grain(s) and/or bread flavored with a broth and seasoned with herbs and spices. Tofurkey is oven-roasted or baked. Tofurkey can serve as the main dish of a formal holiday meal for people who abstain from or would like to abstain from eating meat, but still want to have a centerpiece to carve for nostalgic reasons. It has become popular as a vegan meat alternative served at Thanksgiving (USA and Canada), Christmas, harvest festivals, and other winter holidays. Tofurkey can be homemade or purchased pre-made and frozen from multiple sources such as Health food stores, specialty grocers, or ordered online and shipped in insulated packing.
There are currently several brands of tofurkey on the public market, including Tofurky produced by Turtle Island Foods in Hood River, Oregon, the Celebration Roast produced by the Field Roast Grain Meat Co. of Seattle, Washington, the Stuffed Holiday Roast made by Match Foods (previously called AuraPro) of St. Louis, Missouri, and formerly the UnTurkey (produced until 2006) from the now defunct Now & Zen, which was one of the first in the US market.
Tofurkey and the other branded vegetarian meat substitutes are plant-protein-based. The Field Roast Grain Meat Company produces a vegan product based on wheat gluten, vegetables, herbs and spices. Field Roast Company produces the only soy-free line of products on the market.
As part of a holiday meal
A stuffed holiday roast, with a turkey-style flavoring (soy based), frozen 1.5 lbs
Tofurkey is popular in communities with vegetarian and vegan members, whose individuals object to turkey meat for health, environmental, and/or ethical/political 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.