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Forums > Social Discussion > Vegetarian Meat? or veges made to look like meat?

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Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: New Zealand

Total posts: 1023
Posted:Note: Discuss Vegetarianism here



I want to discuss vegetables made to look like meat.



We went to a vegetarian restaurant yesterday and they had on their menu

Fish,

Steak,

Prawns

and other meat meals



I thought confused how can this be?



Well it turns out all the meats are made from vegetables to taste and look like the meat.

One friend had a steak that came to the table on one of those cooking hot stones so the "steak" continued to cook on the table.

The prawns came on a plate shaped like little prawns confused



I ordered vegetables on rice, after all it is a vegetarian restaurant? or is it?



Either this has been a big joke played on me or can it truly be real?



Why would a vegetarian want to eat something that looks or tastes like meat?



A very confused Malcolm


May your balls always burn

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Sir_Sheep


Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK

Total posts: 725
Posted:Eh up,

Flid will reply in a moment, he's currently cooking vegan do-nuts.

Regards,

Flid's Official Personal Answering Service


Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:
One of the scouts we had to cater for one year, wouldnt eat any meat, or meat imitation foods (Quorn or other meat substitue). It turned out to be really easy actually as he was happy with bean burgers every night meaning we only had to buy a few things for him.

umm


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Valura
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

Valura

Mumma Hen
Location: Brisbane, Australia

Total posts: 6391
Posted:Yeah we have had experiences like this.

There is an AMAZING vegetrain resteraunt at the gold coast that uses tofu etc but flavours it to be EXACTLY like meat.

we took Flynty there for tea and she wrinkled her nose becuase she said it was weird eating something that tasted like meat but wasnt meat. My brother did the same thing cause hes a vegan and it freaked him right out.

I personally loved it but thats cause Im a carinvore.
It must be a total mind screw for the vegetarians!

ubbloco ubbloco ubbloco ubbloco


TAJ "boat mummy." VALURA "yes sweetie you went on a boat, was daddy there with you?" TAJ "no, but monkey on boat" VALURA "well then sweetie, Daddy WAS there with you"

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Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: New Zealand

Total posts: 1023
Posted:It is a total mind screw for me and I am not even a vegetarian

May your balls always burn

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:A lot of meat eaters genuinely that vegetarian food is inferior in taste to meat based food. Many also fail to appreciate that those who do become vegetarian soon adapt to the different tastes which then are as satisfying as meat was.

There does seem, in some, to be an underlying belief that, though vegatarianism may have health benefits, moral benefits etc; that it nevertheless is a form of deprivation/denial (of the, in their view, superior taste of meat.

So maybe what you've described above, is an attempt to appeal to that attitude.

For me, the criteria for a good vege-burger is that it tastes nice, not that if tastes like beef (I can't even remember what beef tastes like anyway).


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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.:star:.
SILVER Member since Jan 2005

.:star:.

Pooh-Bah
Location: Bristol, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1785
Posted:I have never understood the whole 'vegetarian-meat' thing
I'm with Malcolm on this one
"Why would a vegetarian want to eat something that looks or tastes like meat?"

Especially seeing as most of it tastes yuk!!


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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:it's a joke, it actually is meat, sold by a cult trying to convert vegetarians to eating animals tongue

only joking. It's not tofu, it's seiten, made from gluten (wheat protein). It's essentially the non starch component of bread. You get it by kneading wheat flour under running water for 2 to 3 hours (which removes starch), before boiling in a soup of soy sauce and various spices. Once that's done you can then proceed to cook (marinate, deep fry, etc). It's *very* hard to make, hence there arn't many commercial brands, it tends to be something you see in restuarants. A lot of vegan immitation meats these days do use gluten in the process, but not proper seiten. It's old too, at least 2000 years originating from china. The story goes that warriors used to stay over at Buddhist temples as they crossed the mountains and killed any monks who refused to feed them meat. So they developed meat free meat, to fool them, like it fooled you smile.

It's high in protein, and extremely cheap to make, if you know how, which isn't easy. You can use the gluten chunks whole, or mix with mashed tofu, textured soy protein and chinese vegetables etc. The texture is very similar to meat (ie not uniform, like the spongy consistancy you get when you freeze tofu and defrost (the water turns to ice and expands creating a sponge)), which is extremely hard in cookery terms. You can make very elaborate things with it and a variety of complex flavours as it soaks up any spices you marinate it in. The west is thousands of years behind the east in terms of vegan food technology, the UK's master chefs that ponce around on TV have nothing on Buddhist chefs.

There's a buddhist sect in London that have set up a chain of restuarants in the past few years selling awesome quality vegan food at almost cost price, to encourage as many people to try it as possible. 5 quid gets you all you can eat (I average 4 to 5 platefuls) and we've taken several HoP people there (Pink, Polythene, Gnu, Vanize, Lightning) in the past year. They could easily charge 6 times the price and get away with it.

I've played with making it a lot in the past 6 years and have only recently started to get good results (tonight we had chinese bbq 'pork', yesterday catonese style sweet and sour 'chicken'). My local health store has just started stocking lots of japanese and chinese base ingrediants (kombu, bean paste, mirin etc) that I've been after for *years*, so I'm having an oriental food fest atm smile. I've still yet to find any suppliers in the UK of gluten powder other than mail order, which is very frustrating considering it's used in so many products like bread.

Why do vegetarians/vegans find meat substitutes interesting? Personally I was bought up on meat, and whilst I never want to eat dead flesh again, I've developed a taste for the flavours and it's something I enjoy tasting. Plus it's a major challenge if you're really into cookery and creating new recipes and flavours.


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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:OWD: I agree, I'm not hung up on trying to recreate animal products, I've found a lot of really great food that I would have never have found just eating pre packaged crap from the supermarket/making recipes out of delia books. I am thou interested in experiencing all flavours and textures, and recreating ones I can no longer have due to my ethical beliefs (see the long winded vegetarianism thread for more on that).

A personal gripe is non vegetarians who seem to think that a vegan diet is unimaginative and severly limited, no more than when it's people who are supposidly food experts. I've eaten some really unimaginative crap food at really expensive restaurants, where my meat eating companions have waxed on about how good the food is.

Cutting out products that you rely on to cook with is an important part of becoming a better chef. Cooking food from your comfort zone of ingrediants that you've been taught is one thing, doing the research in the first place on them is another matter. I watch lots of cookery programs about meat to pick up tips I can adapt. I've only seen one cookery program for vegetarians, and it was so uninspiring (every desert had cream or eggs as a major ingrediant, 90% of main meals had cheese in) it made me sick (not physically). Even if you were a gluten, nut free vegan there's still thousands of ingrediants to play with and with enough determination, great food.


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Malcolm
SAPPHIRE Member since Nov 2003

Malcolm

HOP admin
Location: New Zealand

Total posts: 1023
Posted:Wow I am so lucky I did not order any as I am a coeliac (gluten free diet) . Also being a diabetic, I have to agree with Flid, there is still heaps of great tasting food out there. Cherry is such a clever cook ubblove

May your balls always burn

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polythene


veteran
Location: London/ Surrey

Total posts: 1359
Posted:The vegan Chinese restaurant does indeed make delicious food... the average carvivore could eat there and not realise it was vegan unless they were told, without having to resort to vegetarian 'meat' (they make a lot of traditionally meat dishes with tofu or seitin instead).

I'm a carnivore but I love vegetarian and vegan food... but can't stand food that pretends to be other food. Tofu chow mein? Bring it on. Yummy! 'Vegetarian steak'? Get the hell away from me.


The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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PyroWill
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

PyroWill

HoP's Barman. Trapped aged 6 months
Location: Staines, United Kingdom

Total posts: 4437
Posted:Would it count if they served vegeatarians in their dishes?

An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind

Give a man a fish and he'll eat 4 a day hit a man with a brick and you can have all his fish and his wife

"Will's to pretty for prison" - Simian

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JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:I can sort of understand if they were just vegetarian/vegan purley for moral reasons, but just missed the taste of meat. I think that's what they're aiming for with those sorts of foods. Personally, I'd just tough it out and not bother with cheap imatations, but for now I'm happy eating flesh.

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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DragonFury
BRONZE Member since Mar 2005

Draco Iracundia
Location: Adelaide, Australia

Total posts: 784
Posted:i'm thinking its not an attempt at imatations, but for those that miss the taste/texture because of beliefs

You could also think of it as an attempt to increase vegan/vegitatians reciepe ideas. If they see/taste what they can do all with vegies, they might cook more things at home. Alot of meat is marinated, and i sometimes just cook vegies in the marinate by themselves.


Do we sleep when we die?

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Medusa
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Medusa

veteran
Location: 8 days at Cloudbreak, 6 in Per...

Total posts: 1433
Posted:Some vegetarians don't eat meat not because they don't like the taste but because they don't like the thought of animals being slaughtered to feed them.

Therefore, serving them something that might taste like meat but doesn't come from an animal wouldn't be bad for people who hold that type of belief.


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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:ditto

I don't eat meat because I can't stand the taste of it...

eek


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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Yeah, as has been said before, just because we don't want to eat animals, doesn't mean we don't enjoy the taste of meat. I'm not into this whole "make it look like animals" thing though, but sausages and burgers are just nice ways of eating things.

I'm a vegetarian but my favourite food in terms of taste, texture and general loveliness is steak. Which is a pain in the arse, as you can't even get veggie imitation steak Ifairly understandably). But chicken flavoured veggie ham and veggie bacon almost make up for it wink

What a shame we can't quietly replace all the real meat with veggie meat, thus sparing millions of animals lives of unnatural misery for what is essentially a matter of human preference.

The Chinese at my girlfriend's uni does veggie peiking duck... odd.


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:A few thoughts:



Written by: Pyrowill
Would it count if they served vegeatarians in their dishes?





you mean like linda mccartney sausages? I'm pretty sceptical they do still contain linda mccartney, it's been quite a while since she died now.



Written by: Sparkey!
Personally, I'd just tough it out and not bother with cheap imatations





Seiten (what this thread is about) isn't a cheap imatation. Unless you've been to a proper buddhist chinese restaurant you probably won't have seen it. It's quite different to the stuff you get in health food stores. There are some brands of commercial seiten that is sold (imported), but it's not very good in comparison. I eat some of the better meat/dairy replacements, but most I avoid. For the first 5 years of being vegan I didn't bother with vegan chese immation cause none of them properly melted (which is most of the fun in dairy cheese). I can now highly recomend redwood cheese in the uk, which melts great and tastes good too.



Written by: Polythene
but can't stand food that pretends to be other food





I don't mind this so much, but I do mind food which fails to taste good in the process, that just completely misses the point. A large factor in enjoying food comes from presentation and what it looks like I know, but a lot of meat subsitutes end up looking and tasting like really crap quality meat, which I avoided when I could eat it anyway.



Written by: DragonFury
You could also think of it as an attempt to increase vegan/vegitatians reciepe ideas.





It's not really an attempt to increase ideas, it's been a stape food stuff in china for thousands of years. It just hasn't been included in the west's interpretation of chinese food, as it's not easy to make commercially. I've met plenty of chinese/malaysian people who just refer it to vegetarian meat. Unlike christianity with commandments, buddhism has precepts, things you should do. Vegetarianism is one of them, and many cultural buddhists (ie those who have been born into it as opposed to made the choice) adhere to certain precepts sometimes, ie have a vegan meal once a week and be a carnivore the rest. Things like seiten make that easier.



Written by: nearly_all_gone
but sausages and burgers are just nice ways of eating things.





The important thing here is that sausages and burgers arn't cuts of meat, they are convenient formats of eating food that just happen to have been traditionally made (possibly invented for) from animal ingrediants. A tshirt is a tshirt whether it's made from cotton, polyester, poly-cotton, acylic etc. A burger is a burger whether it's made from beef, tofu or veges



Written by: nearly_all_gone
What a shame we can't quietly replace all the real meat with veggie meat





Agreed. Although the non vegetarian industry does a pretty good job already. A lot of cheap meat contains a lot of water, vegetable/cereal rusk and soya. Some things like pot noodles just have tvp instead that a lot of people don't realise isn't meat. Ironically the main users of soya/tofu in the world are not vegetarians/vegans.



Written by: nearly_all_gone
millions of animals lives of unnatural misery for what is essentially a matter of human preference.





Careful, people don't like hearing things they don't want to/choose to ignore for convinience (however blatently obvious they are), save it for the vegetarianism thread wink



Written by: nearly_all_gone
The Chinese at my girlfriend's uni does veggie peiking duck... odd.





It's actually pretty good. Normal peiking duck is served shredded (and often the skin marinated) anyway. Once you've added some cucumber, spring onions, a large dash of hoisin and wrapped it in a pancake it's hard to tell the difference. Wish they sold stuff on campus when I was at uni other than flapjack, chocolate covered marzipan and overpriced salad...


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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: flid

A burger is a burger whether it's made from beef, tofu or veges


Quite. I'm sick of being told how ridiculous it is for me to eat veggie burgers simply because they're the same shape as a popular cut of meat. If you wanna give me something else which tastes beautiful in a cheesy roll fine, but until then I'll continue to dream of cauldron burgers.
Written by: flid
Some things like pot noodles just have tvp instead that a lot of people don't realise isn't meat. Ironically the main users of soya/tofu in the world are not vegetarians/vegans.


I'm so glad Pot Noodles are veggie. It's the only way I've survived the first 2 years of uni. Even if it is made by Spillers dog food (reassuring name there, btw.. it kind of tastes like dog food factory sweepings, but the little green "v" is somewhat reassuring in that respect).
Written by: flid
Written by: nearly_all_gone
millions of animals lives of unnatural misery for what is essentially a matter of human preference.



Careful, people don't like hearing things they don't want to/choose to ignore for convinience (however blatently obvious they are), save it for the vegetarianism thread wink


Ah, sod 'em. We know we're right wink
Written by: flid
It's actually pretty good. Normal peiking duck is served shredded (and often the skin marinated) anyway. Once you've added some cucumber, spring onions, a large dash of hoisin and wrapped it in a pancake it's hard to tell the difference. Wish they sold stuff on campus when I was at uni other than flapjack, chocolate covered marzipan and overpriced salad...


Well, it does involve a 10 minute walk, so it's not something we can have every month... but we'll occassionally steel ourselves to get down there. I'll have to try it next time, cheers for the advice.. I didn't much fancy tucking into a giant tofu rubber duck..


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: nearly_all_gone
but until then I'll continue to dream of cauldron burgers.





You should check out redveg in brighton sometime (in the north lanes), they have the best burgers I know of (their breaded mushrooms ain't bad either). There's one just of oxford street in soho in London. I almost got a job last summer working at scee a couple of mins walk away. I'm kinda glad i didn't, i would have spent a large percentage of my salary on fast food if i did. There's kind of a good side to being forced to bring your own food to work with you.


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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Oh, don't worry, I live off them when I have money. They have the best range of veggie fast food in the world, plus a fantastically-decorated hole to eat it in. Plus they always have a van at Glasto, although we didn't manage to find it this year.

Cheers for the link though, haven't seen their site before biggrin Genius


What a wonderful miracle if only we could look through each other's eyes for an instant.
Thoreau

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spiralx


spiralx

veteran
Location: London, UK

Total posts: 1376
Posted:Why wouldn't a vegetarian want to eat it? I don't think the cows mind that someone out there is eating a vegetarian burger ubblol If you don't like the taste that's fine, but for someone who is ethically vegetarian then I don't see any problem.

"Moo," said the happy cow.

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gita
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

gita

.:*distracted by shiny things*:.
Location: brizvegas, Australia

Total posts: 3776
Posted:how bizarre... eek



also bizarre? tonight i ordered pizza for dinner. i got a gourmet vegetarian as always (best vego pizza ever! biggrin ) & the guy said "is this margita?" after the shock wore off i said "yes...am i the only person in this town who orders that pizza?!" the response? "yeah pretty much" ubblol just had to share...



p.s. it's funny cos i live in a small (3000 people) town where the main employers are the meatworks & the tannery!! ubblol


do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good to eat!

if at first you do succeed, try not to look too astonished!

smile! grin it confuses people!

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polythene


veteran
Location: London/ Surrey

Total posts: 1359
Posted:I can't eat dairy, but I'm a carnivore... so when I ordered the Vegan Supreme pizza with pepperoni as an extra topping, I got the strangest looks... biggrin

The optimist claims that we are living in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears this is true.

Always make time to play in the snow.

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Malcolm, I suppose it all depends on your personal take on being a vegetarian.

For me personally, I chose to be a vegetarian for health reasons, primarily, and environmental reasons secondarily.

I like meat, actually. It's yummy. So for me a vegetarian simulation is just fine. I mean, I view these products as simply being "advanced Tofu."

I don't base every meal off these meat substitutes. That's expensive and, I agree, it defeats the purpose. But sometime you just crave a burger...

Last night my friend and I made a stir-fry of onions and garlic with bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, tofu and shaved carrots with pan-fried noodles and a peanut-ginger-soy-coconut milk-curry sauce. That's a vegetarian meal, and it was delicious.

I suppose if you don't like meat, then vegetarian meat substitutes don't make much sense. But if you do like the texture and flavor of meat but don't want the cholesterol, fats, hormones, and ethical and environmental issues, then these substitutes are perfect.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Flid's restaurant was awesome. I went back twice more while I was in London.

Another issue that I but up against is nutrition. I'm a competitive athlete and I compete on a reasonably elite level (I mean, hardly olympic, but I spend an hour and a half in the water every day). So I require a fair bit more iron and protein than the average joe.

Vegetables are great, but I unfortunately am not a big fan of mushrooms (high in protein). I can get my protein from legumes, but they're also high in starch. So I find concentrated vegetable protein sources (seitan, tofu, TVP, but not so much tempeh because I don't like it) to be an essential part of my diet.


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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GothFrogette
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3999
Posted:Well i often wondered the same thing and now thanks to Flid i understand.
BTW i am a huge lover of meat and no one would ever turn me other wise. biggrin tastes far too nice


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: Doc Lightning
Flid's restaurant was awesome. I went back twice more while I was in London.



It's not technically mine, although I wouldn't mind one. We went back to one of them the other friday after the theatre on the way to euston station. You can easily pack 3 pounds worth of raw ingrediants (cashew nuts, peppers etc) into a 3 pound takeaway box, let alone accounting for the overheads of running such a place in prime location central london. One of the only bargins to be found around the soho/leicester square/covent garden/oxford stree/tottenham court road area.


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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:Written by: GothFrogette

Well i often wondered the same thing and now thanks to Flid i understand.
BTW i am a huge lover of meat and no one would ever turn me other wise. biggrin tastes far too nice



*bites the Frogette*

Hmm, it is nice...


-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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GothFrogette
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3999
Posted:Hehehehe redface

i do love my veggies too, its a nice balance of tastey goodness


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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Brian:-)
BRONZE Member since Jun 2004

Brian:-)

stranger
Location: London, United Kingdom

Total posts: 37
Posted:I'm a Carnivore. While shopping the other day I saw Vegetarian Meatballs.
I thought what a great idea. When are we going to get Pork Carrots and Lamb Sprouts?


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