Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A What?

A vegetarian butcher?

When you think about it, those two words kind of contradict each other, right? Yet one exists right here in the Netherlands -- although recently, they've crossed the border into Delhaize supermarkets in Belgium.
De Vegetarische Slager (or, 'The Vegetarian Butcher') offers a wide variety of sustainable, plant-based meat replacements. Everything from alternatives for ground beef, chicken strips and bacon, to snack products and even a fish-free 'tuna'.
Yes, a fish-free 'tuna'...
I must admit that I was a little skeptical when I opened the package. The consistency is quite creamy and the smell pretty neutral. It didn't really resemble the real thing, but that was of little concern to me. How did this stuff actually taste? 
I emptied the contents into a bowl, added two tablespoons of mayo, one teaspoon of French basil mustard and about two teaspoons of chopped capers. That's it. No salt and pepper. And, I served it on a bed of spinach with sliced tomatoes, red onions and a little olive oil.
Hubby (who is not easy to convince) happily polished off his plate. And I (who am also not easy to convince) absolutely loved it. In fact, I dare say that the taste and structure was even better than the real thing. I foresee fish cakes made with this stuff appearing at my table in the near future.
And, in case you're wondering -- no, I haven't gone vegetarian again. But I do love the fact that these awesome products are available for those meat-free days. Delicious and sustainable. A win-win in my book.

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