Wednesday, November 14, 2007


i think i’m a cursed vegan. all my favorite treat-foods get discontinued—first morningstar farms “tuno,” then fantastic foods “tofu scramble” (which was actually more of a staple than a treat food for me)…and now UNTURKEY. the delicious faux-meat i look forward to all year is no more; now & zen (makers of the unturkey) disappeared—took down their website, no notice, no apologies, no nothing.

unturkey was the greatest faux-meat ever made. the crispy “skin” made of yuba, the delightful stuffing and mouthwatering gravy, the very meat-like taste and texture of the unbird—it was unbeatable. and for those of us who haven’t tasted meat in almost six years but still crave it like mad, it was an annual maintenance dose.

i’m not alone in suffering this great loss—there’s a group of angry veggies who have started, a ranty blog with recipes for unturkey from the cookbook of the woman who started now & zen. as they so aptly stated on their site, “you just don’t fuck with people’s holiday traditions.” you certainly don’t. there is an unturkey movement afoot, i can feel it.

the recipe for unturkey is really intense, and i don’t think i have the skills or equipment required. it’s actually five separate recipes. the one for the “great gluten turkey” takes 10 pounds of whole wheat flour and 14 cups of water—where would i even find a bowl big enough to mix all that? and i’d have to buy one of those hugenormous whisks like the cool cooks use. granted it would be pretty badass to own one of those, but then i’d have to buy a big white hat, and grow a snidely whiplash moustache, and start talking like swedish chef from the muppets…it’s a slippery slope, and potentially far too much commitment.

the unturkey would be less awesome without its yuba skin, so i’d probably have to go to an asian market to get that. i’m afraid of asian markets. the only one i’ve ever been to smelled like a hamster cage and there were dead things everywhere. enough to turn me off of asian markets permanently.

i got an email from peta announcing a new faux-turkey that sounds rather delicious, but whole foods is the only place that carries it. tofurkey is easily available but not even an option—it’s like gnawing on rubber. it’s hard to say why i’m even putting this much effort into a dinner that only i am going to eat, to celebrate a holiday i don’t recognize, to carry on a tradition i detest. must be some combination of conditioning, consumerism and masochism. some irresistible, scrumptious combination. mmm…patriotism…

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