n. A vegetarian substitute for turkey, particularly a turkey-shaped "bird" made with wheat gluten, soy, and other vegetarian ingredients.
One of Open Harvest Natural Foods Cooperative Grocery's biggest sellers for Thanksgiving this year is a turkey substitute called Unturkey. This bird-friendly holiday entree is a mixture of soy and wheat.
—Andrea Dukich, “Turkey Day creates other traditions for vegetarians,” Daily Nebraskan, November 25, 2003
To satisfy vegetarian and vegan readers, I also roasted this ersatz vegan turkey. The UnTurkey is cleverly wrapped in soy skin, creating a crackly surface over a wheat-gluten meat substitute and bread stuffing. Despite the effort, its appearance is not exactly regal. Look at the turkeys, said one horrified observer, they are sad to be compared to it. It was to be ranked with the rest, but after one taste of its over-oreganoed flesh, we unanimously concluded that vegans would do far better with a nice stuffed squash.
—Sara Dickerman, “Turkey Derby,” Slate Magazine, November 24, 2003
1994 (earliest)
The Great Vegetarian Unturkey.
—Vicki Gabereau, Cooking Without Looking, Douglas & McIntyre, September 01, 1994
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