What Would T-Day Be Without The Turkey?

The Wall Street Journal posits the question, "What would T-day feast be without the fowl?"  To answer this question they performed a taste test with four "faux roasts":

  1. The ubiquitous Tofurky, made by Turtle Islands Food, Inc.
  2. Vegetarian Plus Whole Turkey made by California-based VegeUSA.  (I'm not clear whether they tested the vegan or vegetarian version.)
  3. Celebration Roast, this one is made by the Field Roast Grain Meat Co.
  4. Vegetarian Ham and made by All Vegetarian Inc.

Of all the faux roasts, the Celebration Roast won hands down, it even impressed the meat eaters in the crowd.  We've never tried it.  Neither Jane nor I noticed it on our last foray over at Whole Foods (it's not our regular grocery store, so I don't expect we'll be making a trip there before Thanksgiving), but perhaps we'll find it at our Trader Joe's.  Anyway, if the Field Roast sausages are indicative, this is probably a winner.  Jane adores the Field Roast Sausages.

The Vegetarian Ham was their least favorite.  They also had problems with the Vegetarian Plus Whole Turkey, saying testers recoiled at the odor when the foil was removed after roasting.  Not the best recommendation, eh?

We've got a Tofurky sitting in our refrigerator.  Although I expect if Jane spots the Celebration Roast on our next trip to Trader Joe's this week, it'll be coming home with us.

Hat Tip to  Chow.

12 Comments on What Would T-Day Be Without The Turkey?

  1. okay, seriously guys, you NEED to try the celebration roast! it is so good. they sell it always at follow your heart in canoga park. i’m going there tomorrow to stock up.

    also, there used to be an AWESOME fake turkey called an unturkey. it was hands down, the best fake meat ever. made by a company called now and zen. unfortunately, it’s gone out of business. 🙁

    so now, the best txgiving thing is for sure the celebration roast. i can’t wait to get mine on saturday. 😀

  2. We don’t celebrate T here (and traditional Christmas table centerpiece is ham), but I make Bryanna Clark Grogan’s “turkey” for Christmas. It’s pretty good and cheap (and the leftovers make great sandwiches – it can be slice extremely thin). The only one of those they sell here is Tofurky (I think), which costs like eight euros… yikes. I can make a three times bigger “turkey” for like 1/3 that price.

  3. The one molded turkey (Vegetarian Plus Whole Turkey) is just too odd for me – Part of my problem is that the “mock meats” resemble the real deal too much… I have a problem getting the image out of my head long enough to find them appetizing. Now – the trimmings… I intend to gobble them up in abundance!:)

  4. I have a Tofurky roll in the freezer. I make my own stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce.
    But this year will be cooking pasta with vegan meatballs for our meat eating guests.
    Saving the Tofurky for Sunday – a 2nd Thanksgiving. I have a lot to be thankful for : )

  5. I *love* the field roast sausages. I used some of the apple variety in my stuffing last year.

    I personally go for a Thanksgiving of side dishes. The last several years it’s been at my mom’s house, and she always worries, “Do you have enough to eat??” And then I show her the stuffing (she always makes some for me, good mom), potatoes, sweet taters, veggies, cranberry sauce, and pie, and I’m like, “Woman, do NOT cook me no tofu!”

    I might go with the sausage stuffing again this year, but one meal without a protein source won’t kill me. I’m in charge of cooking everything but the bird, and looking forward to some tasty food, if I do say so myself.

  6. Field Roast Grain Meat Co. is one of my favorite brands. I can’t even think about eating tofu hotdogs or other brands of mock sausage as the Field Roast Sausages are soooo good.

    The Whole Foods near us seems to be hit-or-miss when it comes to stocking the Field Roast during the holiday seasons. I picked it up on a whim last year when I saw it and my wife (an omni) enjoyed it. I see they have it in stock again now so I think I might try it again this year.

  7. I should also mention that I was one of the few who had the UnTurkey roast before Now and Zen closed up shop. I thought it was alright but the skin really threw me for a loop. Thanks, Christina, for posting the link to the recipe though. I might give it another try.

    As for the Vegetarian Plus Whole Turkey: I’ve seen it at several stores around here and it just does NOT look appealing.

  8. I so miss the Unturkey. I loved the yuba crackly “skin.” We usually go for Tofurkey, and are not usually fans of the field roast products. But if their “celebration roast” beat out Tofurkey, maybe it’s time to try it.

    We’re eating vegan Thanksgiving at Mary’s Secret Garden in Ventura this year, so Tofurkey will have to wait.

  9. Hi quarrygirl,
    Well with a recommendation like that!!! Jane just located the celebration roast, and we have not one, but two, sitting in the frige tonight. Yay. Looking forward to it.

    Hi Maija,
    Wow that’s expensive for the Tofurky. I’ll have to get Jane to try Grogan’s recipe for “turkey.” But that will have to wait until after T-day. And good to know it’s not that difficult to try these recipes. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Hi Christina,
    Thanks for sharing the UnTurkey recipe. It looks a little labor intensive, but sounds good. Again, we’re set for our menu this year, but we’ll have to give that a try sometime in the near future.

    Hi Bea,
    Or you could look at it like this… this way you can still eat the drumstick without killing the bird. 😉

    Hi kara,
    We have two Thanksgivings as well. We travel to visit family on Saturday. We used to bring down the entire meal, but now that we’re vegan, and they’re not interested in that, we go out for a meal. Jane still brings her apple pie though.

    Hi Jaime,
    We’ve had a number of people mention using the field roast sausages in stuffing. Sounds ike a great idea. Our stuffing recipe doesn’t call for sausage, but the Stuffing with Apples, Cranberries and Roasted Pecans does…

    Hi Sat,
    Jane is totally in your camp. But they’re not always available… and so far Whole Foods is the only store around here to carry them. So…

    Hi Lisa,
    Jane’s not a huge fan of the Tofurky and simply adores the field roast products, so she’s anticipating a great meal from the celebration roast.
    The crackly skin on the unTurkey sounds, um, interesting. 🙂

    Hi Marcella,
    Thanks… We were able to find it at the third Whole Foods we tried. Our WF seems to have trouble figuring out their inventory needs. Often they will be out of stock on things we go to WF for specifically. It’s a little frustrating, but it’s not the end of the world.

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