To some folks, it’s just a goofy-sounding word and a cute umbrella-term used to poke fun at vegetarians—but for 400,000 consumers who go out of their way to secure a roast every year, Tofurky is no laughing matter: It’s a delicious alternative to meat-centric special-occasion meals.
In honor of the soy meat’s 20th anniversary—and the first-ever official pardoning of a Tofurky this weekend by Seattle’s mayor (for serious)—I caught up with Seth Tibbott, the inventor and founder of Tofurky, to ask him all about his now-iconic all-American veggie staple. Here are some key points from our epic conversation:
How he came up with the idea for Tofurky: “I’ve been a vegetarian since 1973, and every year, when Thanksgiving would come around, there’d be nothing for me to eat—at least nothing really protein-y, nothing you could sit at the center of a table. There were gluten roasts, but you couldn’t cut them with a chainsaw. What we were trying to do with Tofurky was to create a delicious high-protein fun product that captures the magic of Thanksgiving for the vegetarian community.”