July 2, 2010

Tofurky Deli Slices, Oven Roasted

Before I get started on this review, I need to explain whatever crazy stuff I may end up writing. I started a new job last week in a bakery. Bakeries have weird hours. I get to work at three o'clock in the morning and stay there until eleven o'clock in the morning. Then I come home and try to nap. I got home from work a little early today, haven't gotten my nap yet, and thus am writing this post in a strange mental state. I apologize if anything seems too weird… Just bear with me while I'm adjusting to my new schedule.

Okay, now to the good stuff. This week, I'm reviewing Tofurky Oven Roasted Deli Slices. That link is as precise as the Tofurky website gets. Gotta say, I'm kind of excited to someday try out the "Philly-Style" Steak Deli Slices. Not a lot of steak-imitators out there. And I'm always up for some "'Philly-Style' cheese-steak fun"! Does anyone know what stores carry it? I don't think I've seen it any of the places I go. Anyway… time to focus.

A little back story - I actually first tested these out maybe a month ago, on some crackers with some Swiss cheese. I'll get to my impressions of that in a second. I kind of felt like I hadn't given it a fair trial, so I was going to make a sandwich or something with it to see if it fared any better. Just a couple days ago, I got together the fixings for what would have been an amazing sandwich - a homemade whole wheat pita, some lettuce and tomato, and some homemade ranch dressing. My house is awesome! But then once I got out the fake turkey, I realized I had delayed too long, and the poor deli slices were totally moldy! Noooo! Of course, I couldn't let those sandwich fixings go to waste, so I cooked up a couple slices of bacon and made myself a killer BLT. But that's not what you came here to read about. The point is, I only have one deli slice experiment to base my rating on. And here goes…

Something weird about me is that I'm not that into sandwiches as a food-delivery method. I don't know what it is about them - I just can't get that excited about a sandwich. (unless it's a grilled cheese sandwich - that's a whole other category) So what I usually do with lunchmeats is put them on crackers with cheese, a la Lunchables. My favorite cracker to do this with is Triscuits because they only have three (3!) ingredients, and that makes me feel good about myself.* So, since that's what I typically like to do, that's how I decided to test out these deli slices. I got my crackers and cheese ready to go, and started trying to peel apart the slices. It's been a little while since I last saw the package, but if I remember right, they made a big deal about having thinner slices, and more of them! This tells me that the package size is the same as it used to be, it's just more work for me to separate the slices, and they can probably charge more than they used to. I'm so jaded.

I sampled a little of the fake turkey, plain, just to get an idea of what we were working with. The texture was pretty turkey-lunchmeat-like, but the flavor had an off-note to it. Probably that gluten-flavor that brings down so many other products' ratings, but fairly muted. But lunchmeats aren't meant to be eaten solo, so I stacked it up with some cheese on the cracker. Eaten this way, any flavors the fake turkey may have had melted away into the strong flavors of Swiss cheese and salty whole wheat. This makes me wonder if maybe some of the flavored deli slices may do better. I played around with different fake-meat:cheese:cracker ratios, but the more fake meat I used, the more I could taste that not-awesome flavor. So, as a cheese and cracker accompaniment, I'd say it was that one group member who doesn't contribute anything but puts his name on the finished project anyway. How's that metaphor working for you?

I wanted, as I said earlier, to try it out in a more standard sandwich situation, but that just didn't work out this time. I'd like to try some of the other varieties of Tofurky deli slices. Hopefully they'll have more of a presence when combined with other components.

The experience:
Texture - No complaints here - very lunchmeat-y. No odd chewiness or unpleasant mushiness - just your standard deli slice
Flavor - Not much to say about it - not very tasty on its own, underwhelming when combined with other elements.

Final grade for this attempt: B

* Side note, nobody's paying me for anything I write. I sort of feel like I should do something about that one of these days…