I’m a Carnivore, but I Eat Tofurky for Christmas. (Don’t Judge.) Here’s Why

Friends having dinner party at home
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Like any good husband, I’d do just about anything for my wife.

That includes indulging in a holiday tradition that would make some folks queasy.

Yes, let’s talk Tofurky.

Every year, before Thanksgiving and Christmas, we forgo a turkey and head to the nearest health food store to pick up one of those golden round orbs of vegan goodness.

But “golden round orbs of vegan goodness” is not exactly how I would have described it at first. In fact, most people would probably have the same reaction I had upon hearing the request to pick up a Tofurky:

One, are you serious? And two, I think we can skip the grocery store this week, because I’ve lost my dang appetite.

I mean, look at that thing. You’re telling me it’s even remotely comparable to a turkey, the legs of which I consider one of my main food groups (along with bacon).

Listen, those are just two thoughts of a closed-minded food zealot too afraid to step out of his comfort zone. When I did, it was an eye-opening experience.

Here Are 10 Thoughts I Had During My First Tofurky Experience

1. “Where do they keep the Tofurky here? Yes, dude, I actually want a Tofurky. I didn’t know judgment was in a stocker’s job description.”

This year in particular, it was difficult to find a Tofurky. According to some posts on the company’s Facebook, they had some production issues.

After calling more than a dozen local grocery stores, I finally found one in a Whole Foods Market. But even though it’s a health food store, I swear that clerk was eyeballing me as I checked out.

(You should also be able to find one at Trader Joe’s.)

2. “This might be the first time I’ve purchased a roast in a box. Now I know how my grandparents felt during the war.”

Since the world is a complete dumpster fire right now, I know one main food staple that will last forever in my bunker.

3. “This thing is round. Like, very round. It looks like the lump of clay before it becomes a pot, but after someone spins it for a while.”

The hardest thing to get over is how a Tofurky looks. I just used my imagination to pretend an 18-pound golden turkey had appeared in front of me.

If you don’t have a good imagination, pretend you’re in the future and this is what food looks like now.

4. “It smells wet. No, not like wet dog. And not necessarily bad. There’s just something… wet about it.”

I honestly don’t know how to expand on this thought any further. You’ll just have to witness it for yourself.

5. “Why does it have to cook in the oven for so long if it’s not real meat? Can’t I just throw it in the microwave?”

You only have to cook a Tofurky for about an hour, which is a lot better than the five-plus hours it can take for a real turkey.

I actually tried to microwave a Tofurky one year, and let’s just say the oven ended up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting.


You know, they say it’s what’s on the inside that counts. As for Tofurky, I’m not sure that applies.

When you slice into your first Tofurky, you might be surprised by the, uh, innards that pour out. Don’t’ worry, you didn’t kill the Tofurky, it’s just “stuffing.”

7. “This actually tastes pretty dang good. Pass the gravy and that dirty Grateful Dead poncho, because I think I’m going vegan.”

Seriously, you’ll be totally surprised at how delicious Tofurky actually is. Every bite is a mind-blowing contrast — scooping up a blob of colorless tofu and getting a mouthful of tasty turkey.

It’s not turkey, but it’s definitely turkey-sh. Which leads us to…

8. “How many family members can I trick into thinking it’s turkey if I don’t say anything?”

There’s nothing more satisfying than tricking family members who self-identify as carnivores into eating tofu. Plus it’s way healthier so, you know, you’re just being a good nephew.

9. “We can’t possibly eat this another night in a row, please just let me eat a pile of dust instead. Come on, I’ll grab the vacuum cleaner.”

Since it’s just my wife and I enjoying the Tofurky, we usually have a ton of leftovers. And as good as the initial orb is, there comes a breaking point after the third iteration of leftovers where I would rather eat a ball of wax than another slice of the stuff.

10. “When are they going to make a seitanurky? That’s the really good fake meat.”

Hail, seitan. Right?

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder. He takes his Tofurky wrapped in bacon and smothered in sausage gravy. Don’t judge.

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