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

World's Last Male Northern White Rhino Dies

Horn poaching has led to the decimation of the rare subspecies of African rhino, with only two females left on Earth.
Read More »

Virgin Trains Debut Their First Vegan Cooked Breakfast

Commuters in the United Kingdom can now enjoy a hot pot of vegan hash browns, beans, mushrooms, and spinach aboard west coast Virgin Trains.
Read More »

50 Percent of Meals at One CA School District are Vegan

Children in Santa Barbara school cafeterias are raving about vegan brand Hungry Planet's soyrizo quesadillas, crispy chicken burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, beef nachos, and chicken alfredo.
Read More »

Domino's New Zealand Might Soon Offer Vegan Cheese

The international chain is polling Kiwi consumers on social media to ascertain demand for vegan cheese—a move that landed Follow Your Heart's mozzarella on menus across Australia in January.
Read More »

YouTube Stars Rhett and Link Veganize Arby's

The comedy duo's wildly popular Good Mythical Morning YouTube series heads to Arby's, Wendy's, and McDonald's for the vegan edition of their segment Fast Food Secret Menu Hacks.
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 »