Thursday, December 20, 2007
by kale daikon
Tofurky could easily bypass the "weird vegetables" category and go straight to the "freaky" pile. Freaky because it looks and feels like sausage but tastes like gritty, salty soy substance. Because it turns rock hard one day after you cook it. And, most of all, because its name is the most unnatural amalgamation of parts since Frankenstein's monster. Sorry, that was unkind to the monster. I understand the first part of this ersatz funflation, a reference to its tofu-ish base. But why "furky"? We're all thinking "turkey," already an alternative meat (i.e. turkey burgers, turkey bacon), so why not just leave the "e" in? Not only is the "furky" suffix confusing, there's something kind of gross about it, perverse even. Like they want you to think "Tofurky. Yeah, funky. Funkay," when you cook it. Or, "Hm. Tofurky. Quirky! I like it." The worst is that "furky" is so disturbingly close to "jerky," as in "beef jerky," probably the scariest meat substance ever, as to suggest that Tofurky is, in parallel, the scariest meat substitute. Ever.
So why did I cook it, you ask? I really wanted tacos with Lawry's taco seasoning on my meat (for reasons of nostalgia), it was late, the only neighborhood supermarket open was the 24-hr Dellano's, and considering the amount of spoiled/borderline food I've gotten from there, I was not about to get real meat. The Tofurky was actually not that bad, kind of interesting in fact. I'm just mad that I've been spelling it incorrectly in my head for all these years. There's probably something else going on with me. Forgive the outburst. But if I were Google, I'd ask Turtle Island Foods, "Did you mean: tofurkey?"