Friday, November 13, 2009

Tofu Turkey: No Kidding

You may remember Howard Leland, proponent of the 'natural yard,' member of the Asclepias Society member, and defender of zombie ants.

He's decided that he won't contribute to the annual slaughter of turkeys this year. He told me that he's going to feast on a concoction of tofu, sage, rosemary and thyme. No parsley, though. The recipe also calls for vinegar (balsamic, not that ordinary kind), red wine, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, and a few other ingredients.

Turns out, "balsamic vinegar" isn't vinegar at all. It's not made from wine, but from grape pressings that get boiled down and aged. The source I used said that it got popular in America after chefs at upscale restaurants started using it. No wonder balsamic vinegar was new to me. I'm more a Captain Blimpo Lindenburger kind of guy.

I'd have thought that starting with five blocks of well-pressed curdled soybean milk would be enough soy product: but Mr. Leland showed me the recipe, and soy sauce is there, on top of the hefty dose of tofu.

And, I learned that there's a commercial product called Tofurky®: Made, naturally, in a very vegan way with no "genetically engineered foods." That must take some doing, since soybeans have been a domesticated plant for about 31 centuries now.

I had a very interesting talk with Howard Leland, learned how enthusiastic he is about his latest project, and suggested that he see if he could make vegan tofu turkey: with cranberry flavor mixed in before baking.

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