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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: Christchurch, New Zealand

Total posts: 1017
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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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: Doc Lightning

vegetarian meat substitutes


I'm not suggesting Lightning is, but many people seem to feel that because veggie alternatives take the same shape as burgers, sausages etc they're supposed to taste like them. Some are, sure, but others exist in their own right.

I know many people who will choose to eat a veggieburger over a beefburger because they like the taste, and many who would never try a veggieburger because they expect it to be a pale imitation of the taste of beef. Which is a shame. Veggieburgers aren't just for veggies, they're for anyone who's willing to try new food.


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

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: nearly_all_gone
Veggieburgers aren't just for veggies, they're for anyone who's willing to try new food.





That is really a key point. A lot of food that's eaten by carnivores is also suitable for vegetarians, and some of it vegan. There's a tradition of requiring meat in every main meal in the UK, from a time when we didn't have the choice of products we do today and meat/dairy was a convient source of nutrician that could be produced domestically. Now that we do have choice, access to more ingrediants than at any other time in history (it really is a very exciting time to live in if you enjoy cookery and inventing new flavours/textures). It is possible to create vegan/vegetarian dishes which arn't bland, which are nutricianly sufficient and do taste good, whether designed to taste like meat or be a new product in their own right. I was a semi (aka crap) vegetarian for about 6 years before turning properly vegetarian (then vegan 2 months later). I ate vegetarian every day at school and meat outside. At school they cooked meat for 700, vegetarian for about 20. Thus the quality of the vegetarian food was almost always far better. I didn't give a toss about my health, the environment or who got trod on in the making of my food, it was just the wise choice to make for food which hadn't been mass produced and stewing for hours wink


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blu_valley
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

blu_valley

fluffy mess
Location: Brighton

Total posts: 197
Posted:Well, I'm a simple girl myself.
If it looks like meat, smells like meat or tastes like meat, then it's supposed to be meat. I dont trust any of that immitation stuff myself, that be some bad juju right there. I like things to be 'what you see is what you get'. Why would you want to trick yourself?

Then again, I'm a big meat eater so I dont have to deal with the immitation stuff often, unless I meat up with my veggie friends, but even then I stick to veggies that look and taste like veggies, so I'm fully aware that it is vegetables that I am eating and I'm ok with that.


"I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: blu_valley
Why would you want to trick yourself?



That thread, as mentioned at the very top of the original post can be found here.


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stroo
SILVER Member since Feb 2003

stroo

trusty sidekick to superman
Location: oxford, england, uk

Total posts: 799
Posted:i dont trust it either! being a vegetarian myself i'd never eat imitation stuff. i dont really trust the 'beef flavourings' in crisps for example. if it doesn't contain the food its ment to taste like, it shows that all its flavour is due to additives and the likes. i dont see the point in pretending to eat dead animals really...

...but then again, thinking about it, i think i'd rather someone ate imitation meat if it was in the place of real stuff... if for example, they had just become a vegetarian and were finding it really hard or something.


Livin' on dreams and custard creams

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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: stroo
it shows that all its flavour is due to additives and the likes



what do you mean by "the likes"? If you're referring to the use of ingrediants that can't be created or isolated from naturally occuring foodstuffs without the use of a lab, then there's plenty of products out there that don't fall under that category. You can achieve a lot by being clever/using lateral thinking with long accepted store cupboard items.

Seiten, what is beleived to have been the original topic of this thread uses no ingrediants that haven't been available to the average chinese household for the past few thousand years - wheat flour and water. The flavouring is achieved by a broth of water, various common spices (sometimes seaweeds) and soy sauce. Nothing artificial or funky going on.

Until I was forced to start making stuff from scratch I didn't realise that a lot of the flavours in meat dishes don't come from the meat at all, but from the spice and vegetable components. Other components, such as eggs are included to serve a function, such as as a binding agent, which have been traditionally used because they're readily available, not because they are essential. For example, as a fat basterd I've done a lot of research in the past 6 years and can now make cake/muffins using no special ingrediants above the average UK person who does baking, that's cheaper and gives debateably just as good results. What's more, using the cost saving over using butter and eggs I can use all organic ingredients.

Whilst there is some crap out there, it's worth keeping an open mind and don't always assume that just because something is different it has to be frankenstein food. It can just be that the producers have put a lot of time and effort into researching new ways of doing things.

Sure you can make things using artificial flavourings too, and too use your example, a lot of crisp makers will use whatever is cheapest; generally artificial not natural organic/gm free. If you're into studying ingredients of food you'll see a big difference between the likes of walkers and kettle chips, where you pay a bit more and get great flavours with far less (if any) unprenoucable words. I'm a big beleiver that in general (there are exceptions), the more ingrediants something has the worse quality of recipe it is.


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Laday
BRONZE Member since Jun 2005

Laday

member
Location: In UK for now, but born an liv...

Total posts: 75
Posted:I think it's a joke! Personally i stopped eating chicken when i was 7 and by 12 was a vegie! At 16 i was a Vegan for two years..until one day i had enough of cheeseless vegie pizza and now am back to being just a veg. And eventually i'm going back to vegan soon! I gave up meat for the simple fact i think it is unhumane to kill and animal so i can eat. Unless u could kill it yourself...which i can't. I do understand that there are people out there who don't eat it for religious reasons or other reasons but if u the type of Veg,like myself who won't eat it for the same reason then how CAN you eat something that tastes and looks like a dead animal? Mmmmmm??

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Erm, because I know it's not and I like the taste?

What's the big deal? It's soya. Whatever it looks like.


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

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: laday
then how CAN you eat something that tastes and looks like a dead animal?



As I've said previously in the thread lots of people are bought up as omnivores and acquire a taste for it. I doubt it'd be interested if I'd never gotten to that stage myself, but i did. You said you were vegan, but changed back to vegetarian, despite thinking it's inhumane to kill animals for food. Death is an inevitable part of the dairy industry. Inhumane treatment is an inevitable part of any mass farming. I have much more problem with drinking animal milk than I do with eating a completely non animal product that resembles an animal product in some way. There's several brands of vegan cheese in the UK now, if pizza is your only vice I'll happily send you some recipes.

Written by: nearly_all_gone
What's the big deal? It's soya. Whatever it looks like.



seiten isn't soya! soya is good too though as it happens smile


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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: laday
And eventually i'm going back to vegan soon!



what's the big wait? If it's something you beleive in then why not right now? If you want to go on a diet, eating as much as you can before the weekend then starting isn't as good for you as starting right now and cutting down. The same goes for giving up smoking, smoking one a day less for a week is better for your health than smoking as many packets as you can lay your hands on before the weekend. Becoming vegan on ethical grounds is great, but if you want to stop animal cruelty through farming why do it in the future when you can start right now? I remember when i first started getting involved in direct action in 1999 and my best mate thought it was a great idea, but told me he was going to study really hard at school/university and become a politician instead, changing the world that way. Did he? nah, course not. I knew it at the time, but didn't wanna say anything, the guesture was there, just a little bit flakey wink


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Sir_Sheep


Sir_Sheep

old hand
Location: Chester, UK

Total posts: 725
Posted:Flid has perfected the art of vegan pizza, both myself and Polythene can testify to that smile And vegan cheese is great, I never really liked the orginal dairy cheese, but I'm quite partial to the vegan variaty.



Coincidently, today I celebrate my first anniversary of turning vegan. I've discovered more about food and cooking and tested flavours I never would have done if I was still a carnivore. I'd never really thought about tofu when I was eating meat, but now I love it - it's so damn versatile!



Flid was estatic when he found out about Tai (down Greek Street in London was the first one we found, we then discovered three in walking distance of where I used to work (my lunchtimes were never the same after that heh)) and I was the first person he took along on his inaugral visit. I was a newly turned vegetarian and I was blown away with the tastes and textures available on my plate.



(Turkey Twizzlers anyone?)


Non-Https Image Link


I personally have no problem with eating 'fake meat', but I see a lot of the 'meat' products as being pretty fake themselves, with a hell of a lot of extra non-meat ingrediants (water/breadcrumbs/additives etc).



Fake-bacon, whilst not exactly the same taste as regular bacon, is still delicious in it's own right. I don't purpously aim to buy produtcs that mimic traditional cuts of meat or style of presentation, I buy whats available which is vegan.



And, no, I have never experienced a craving for a juicy steak, or a McDonald's. I'm healthier and happier now I'm vegan, and never see myself reverting back.


Spoiling Christmas for small children since 2003.

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nearly_all_gone
SILVER Member since Aug 2004

nearly_all_gone

Pooh-Bah
Location: Southampton

Total posts: 1626
Posted:Written by: flid

Written by: nearly_all_gone
What's the big deal? It's soya. Whatever it looks like.



seiten isn't soya! soya is good too though as it happens smile


Nah, I freeze soy sauce and food colouring into moulds to make them look like frozen steaks, which I then eat like lollys. Which I obviously did all the time as an omnivore.

See? I wasn't wrong. I'm never wrong. wink


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

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fluffy napalm fairy


fluffy napalm fairy

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Brum / Dorset / Fairy Land

Total posts: 3638
Posted:Written by: Malcolm
Cherry is such a clever cook ubblove



Indeed biggrin


Geologists do it in the dirt................ spank

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Posted:i was brough up veggie so have never eaten meat (well i ate a cornish pastie when i was 6 but i don't know how much meat is in them anyway!)
veggie food nowadays is so much better - when i was little linda macartney quorn and all that stuff didn't exist...i still had an interesting varied diet (my mum makes killer lentil lasagne!!) but it's easier now cos i am extremely lazy most of the time when it comes to cooking...
couldn't be a vegan tho - like my dairy products too much - but i do admire people who are...
it's wierd - i think it's easier for me than for people who give up meat - i don't know what i'm missing - but the thought of eating it makes me feel sick - it's psychological - i just can't do it...
i'm quite happy to eat veggie burgers and sausages - and i've converted my die hard carnivore boyfriend - tho he still eats meat he eats veggie burgers and stuff a lot of the time!

i'd love there to be a decent veggie restauranat round here - the only one is awful - bland lentil sludge of varying shades of brown!!!


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flid
BRONZE Member since Aug 2002

flid

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Warwickshire

Total posts: 3136
Posted:Written by: Sir_Sheep
And, no, I have never experienced a craving for a juicy steak, or a McDonald's



I have, it used to happen quite a lot, but that's life, I made a choice and 6 years on I'm still happy with it. A few months back I went with my workmates to the pub in the evening, where obviously there wasn't anything I could eat. By the time I got the bus back and was walking through town at about 11pm I saw a big advert in the window of mcdonalds for a bigmac. It looked so good. 5 minutes later when I was home I started cooking some vegeburgers, 15 mins after that I was eating them and it was damned good. I wasn't even remotely temped by an actual bigmac, but when often when I see things that I like the looks of I study them (I'm forever recording ingrediants lists of things on my phone) and recreate them at home instead. Now I must depart, to make tonight's sweet and sour sauce that tastes 100% identical to the stuff I used to get from my favourite chinese takeaway (and is somewhat cheaper when you make it yourself).


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