The New Yorker Recounts the History of Tofurky

The acclaimed publication spotlights the 22-year legacy of the vegan holiday roast in time for Thanksgiving.

A recent feature published by media outlet The New Yorker outlined the serendipitous history of the Tofurky holiday roast. “In its 22-year history,” writer Jonathan Kauffman stated, “that plump, beige creation—honeydew-like in weight and circumference, filled with a cylindrical core of wild-rice stuffing whose flavor is not significantly different from its chewy, tofu-and-gluten shell—has become a requisite part of vegetarian-friendly Thanksgiving tables from San Francisco to Kalamazoo.” Kauffman explained that Tofurky founder Seth Tibbott—who was interested in taking tempeh mainstream in the 1970s—met couple Hans and Rhonda Wrobel, who were making a tofu-based Thanksgiving roast in small batches. After Tibbott accidentally created a tempeh burger that tasted like Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the cranberries and wild rice he used in the recipe, Tibbott partnered with the Wrobels to create a feast that featured his failed burger (in the form of tempeh-based drummettes), which he sold alongside the Wrobles’ tofu roast under the company Turtle Island Foods. “The first frozen Tofurky meal,” Kauffman wrote, “priced at $30, was a hard sell with retailers and a mad success with the customers who managed to find it.” After more than two decades—and some tweaks to the original product—this year, the company is readying to sell its 5 millionth Tofurky roast.

More News

QDOBA Now Offers Price Cut for Vegans

The Mexican-inspired chain launched the Vegetarian Tier to give a discount to customers who order meat-free meals.
Read More »

Biotech Startup Develops Fungus-Based Clean Pet Food

New biotechnology company Wild Earth plans to disrupt the $30 billion pet food industry with nutritionally complete, animal-free proteins.
Read More »

Portland Pub Replaces Beef and Lamb with Vegan Burger

The White Owl Social Club will no longer serve beef and lamb burgers, and instead offer the Impossible Burger to reduce its environmental impact.
Read More »

W London Hotel to Offer Vegan Menu

The internationally inspired menu was created in honor of chef Ravinder Bhogal’s vegan niece.
Read More »

Saudis Go Vegan to Curb Obesity Epidemic

Residents of Saudi Arabia have the support of vegan Prince Khaled Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud, who plans to open 10 vegan restaurants in the region by 2020.
Read More »

This Week on VegNews TV: The secret to these delightful sweet treats is white beans! Aylin Erman shows you how to make these simple blondies.

More Videos »