Can ditching meat and dairy open up new taste sensations? My first week as a vegan

Can ditching meat and dairy open up new taste sensations? My first week as a vegan

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My first attempt at veganism. This time, Zoe Williams explores a whole new world of culinary possibilities, from vegan cheese to falafel koftes.

I am going to describe the process of making vegan cheese. Later, I'll tell you how popular veganism is, what the dietary habit of age is like, how all of your staples and hangouts have changed, and how to cook a vegan dinner for omnivores in a way that doesn't make them feel neglected. . Delicious or even hungry. But first I have to talk about the cheese, because I found it quite traumatic.

Grind the cashews in a food processor, then add the garlic powder, salt, onion powder, and deactivated nutritional yeast. The last ingredient will not make anything rise; It doesn't bring anything to the party except its distinctive flavor, which vegans call "cheesy" but is more precisely "yeast." This done, the soy milk is heated with oil and several agar-agar flakes, a bland vegan alternative to gelatin, which dissolve in the liquid for 10 minutes, except they don't, not really.

Nothing is consistent the way you expect

The substances float around each other until you crush them with a blender. Add some white miso, lemon juice, truffle oil, chives - inspect your leftovers, they will be the wrong color (cream with a hint of gray) and the wrong consistency (sticky). Then set it up for a few hours, which will turn it into something totally different. It doesn't taste like cheese yet, and it has a fluffy bounce that's unlike any cheese I've come across (not even Edam comes close), but it's actually… okay. There is nothing wrong with this substance. Slice it up with asparagus and toasted walnuts, and you've got a perfectly edible meal. But the process took me miles from everything I understood about food, to the realms of papier-mâché or slime. As Otto von Bismarck supposedly said about sausage, if you want to enjoy it, you better not see it done.

The experiment was part of my attempt to be vegan and enthusiastic. I wanted to find out if there was a way for veganism to open up a world of culinary possibilities, rather than close them. It's possible to be a pretty unhealthy vegan, as I discovered the first time I tried to cut out meat and dairy, for fitness purposes. If you don't plan it, you end up living on chips. This time, I swore, it would be different.

There has been a lot of experimentation in this area recently, from the London chef who has created the 'faux gras', made from lentils, walnuts, shallots and mushrooms, which according to some (including himself) is better than the real thing, for the Impossible Burger boom , a hamburger made from plant materials that "bleeds" (the company has reportedly attracted an investment of $ 400 million). Vegan food is increasingly available in supermarkets: Waitrose last month launched a specialized vegan section in more than 130 of its stores, while Tesco now employs a "director of plant-based innovation" and Iceland is expanding its vegan offerings. due to the excellent sales of their meatless, Bull-free burgers. Meanwhile, it was reported in May that the best way to reduce its environmental impact is to abandon meat and dairy products. If everyone stopped eating these, farmland could shrink by an area the size of the US, China, the European Union, and Australia combined (and they would all continue to feed).

Food fads come and go, but veganism, with its indisputable moral premise, seems pretty solid; the number of vegans in the UK tripled between 2006 and 2016.

If you start with ethics (a friend, a vegan, and a philosopher used to say, "I wouldn't kill a cat to death just because I enjoyed it"), pleasure becomes irrelevant: nothing tastes as good as morality feels. But do you make a vegan diet enjoyable by trying to reproduce animal products using plants? Or do you retrain your palate so that it no longer looks for the meat sandwich?

The rise of seitan, a washed wheat ingredient that meat may strangely, though not always, like has created a new divide, between vegans who miss Nando and those who Nando represents what most liked to escape. Jackfruit, another “foodie” alternative to meat, is rare - you can find it everywhere from Bonnington Cafe, the vegan pilgrimage destination in Vauxhall, south London, to Starbucks, but I've never seen a new one - it comes pre-packaged and usually in brine. Super pure vegans complain about the salinity, but that doesn't worry me. My problem is the texture. It starts out crispy and mushy, then gets confusing, and there's an aftertaste like canned artichoke water. In addition to jackfruit, recent vegan developments have been in dairy-like foods - it seems almost everything can be squeezed into a milk - or rather, a juice.

When I cook for kids, I did what I always do when I try to make them eat something they won't like: make everything smaller than normal, to make it look pretty, and then yell at them. Small pizzas with fake bacon were topped with a vegan mozzarella, which turned transparent in the cooking process and shrunk a bit, making it look like I'd festooned them with condoms. The bacon had an overpowering fake maple flavor and chemical chewiness. He fell like a dead mouse on a quiche. Cicely, 10, would eat the tofu sausages, but only in microscopic amounts and to be nice. Thurston, also 10, didn't even put the falafel koftes in his mouth.

I made some peanut butter and jelly bars with vegan egg and an ungodly amount of peanuts. Anything that smells like an egg but is not an egg makes you think that someone has done something terrible with your recipe, spilled chemicals on it, or farted. The coconut oil brought an oil clove and a bodywash scent. I should have never approached vegan cooking before speaking to chef Nicky Elliott, who advised me not to resort to egg replacements. “When I bake, I use flax or chia seed. You can replace three eggs, but no more, "he says. “I wouldn't use vegan cheese, because it's just not great, yet. Kids like to get involved, so they will often eat something that they had to see that they wouldn't eat otherwise. "

The zucchini meatballs were stupid good, a beautiful and luxurious texture, a sauce you could live on by yourself

The last lifestyle experiment was a vegan dinner, with a kitchen element, in which I tried to reproduce meat and dairy dishes from scratch. My husband took foods that were always vegan: Madhur Jaffrey's Zucchini Meatballs (for which he used some oatmeal cream) and Colman Andrews' Catalan Paella. I made the aforementioned asparagus with “cheese,” some vegan chorizo ​​that didn't work because it used the wrong kind of tofu, and some pulled out “pork” which was actually mushrooms covered in black molasses, sugar, and soy. We gave it to a few youngsters as they seem to be more receptive to these shenanigans, plus my husband's new friend Momentum (joined without telling me, who does that?), On the grounds that she was probably vegan (in fact , she will eat anything and it's normal in all sorts of other ways).

Everyone was kind to the vegan cheese, but I wouldn't repeat it. The pulled mushroom sliders hit it off, a kind of explosion of flavor on her face. You couldn't have separated the mushroom from the fiery coleslaw, but it didn't matter, because it was so sweet and savory that tasting the individual ingredients would have been like trying to hear someone whisper at a rave. The next morning, sporadically picking some mushrooms from the bottom of the pan, I realized how unnatural it was to do, slather black molasses on a mushroom, which is perfectly delicious without it.

The zucchini meatballs were stupidly good, a beautiful, luxurious texture that was nothing like meat, a sauce that you could live on by itself. Paella also triumphed, comfort food in the middle, a little crunch at the bottom and top, which is what vegetarian cooking often misses: the spectrum of texture that you get from fat and meat.

I feel guilty even writing those words now: "fat and meat." But there are lessons I learned from trying to live, and eat right, as a vegan. In the future, I would steer clear of replacement animal products and opt for tofu over shredded seitan; It would start in Asia and work west, instead of starting at McDonald’s and trying to mimic the parts that make up their products. While I don't claim to be totally vegan, I can't find a way to pretend that eating critters is cool. After all, you wouldn't kick a cat to death just because you enjoyed it.

Original article (in English)



  1. Taymullah

    It is remarkable, rather the helpful information

  2. Bar


  3. Kip

    I wanted to take another look, but damn it .. I didn't have time!

  4. Vujas

    I have removed this idea :)

  5. Ghoukas

    The same ...

  6. Josue

    What arises from this?

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