Vegan "Cheese"

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Ride-sleep-repeat
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby Ride-sleep-repeat » 5 Jan 2021, 6:26pm

661-Pete wrote:
Ride-sleep-repeat wrote:Our daughter is Vegan.My wife won't try any of her food.I've tried most things and to be quite honest I find it all just bland.The 'cheese' made from coconut is particularly rancid.It's not for me,none of it.The pretend milk is also rancid.
I find the Vegan 'bacon' and 'gammon' a bit odd.Although it's now being marketed as 'plant-based whatever' it's still aimed at Vegans.
The absolute worst stuff is Quorn.It all tastes like cardboard but with the texture of rubber.
Disappointing, but not really surprising. Lots of people, trying to 'go vegan' with the above suggestions, will probably react the same.

The mistake that - possibly - your daughter is making and passing on to you (forgive me for being presumptive, I know nothing about her) is that vegan food comprises no more than a list of substitutes for non-vegan foods. I.e. that the total gamut of vegan foods consists of substitute meat, substitute fish, substitute cheese, substitute eggs, substitute milk .... and so on.

It does not.

There is a place for vegan substitutes, true, but they do not have to dominate a vegan diet. Quorn (which is not actually vegan, it contains egg) for example, can be very tasty, but only if it's used in the right sort of dishes. For example, we regularly do a 'chilli-con-quorn' in which quorn mince takes the place of the minced beef - and it is delicious. If 'chilli-con' is on your 'likes' list, and if you have the time and inclination to cook it yourself, try it!

But many other vegan dishes that we do (and alternate with our non-vegan dishes) have nothing in common with non-vegan equivalents. We have many specialities which are out-of-this-world as far as tastiness goes. For example, our version of Masala Dosa (somewhat simplified from 'official' recipes) would not only make your mouth water, it'd bring tears to your eyes (not literally).

But what it boils down to, I'm afraid, is you need to have some time and inclination to cook. If you don't cook, or if you do only very basic cooking, I probably can't help you. If you can (and lots of people have switched to home cooking due to lockdown) - good luck! PM me if you want some recipes.

I cook all our food from scratch.We have no processed foods or jars of Curry/Bolognaise/Chilli or any of that rubbish etc I make all my own sauces.I always have a 'Base' sauce in the freezer(a tip from an Indian friend).I have around 60 herbs and spices in the cupboard plus a small outside herb garden.I have the time and inclination but for me meat free is just not the same.I've been doing this for the past 15/16 years or so now and have tried 100s of different things from all over the World and anything made solely with Veg,or pulses etc is a side dish.
My daughter has Vegan cookbooks and is learning slowly.The Quorn was from her Veggie days.I've tried both Quorn chilli and Quorn curry cooked exactly the same as our usual Chilli(by me) exactly the same spicing etc and I'm sorry but it just does not have either the taste or the texture of the ones made with meat.
I've had vegetable curries in Indian restaurants and they don't do it for me either.Meat just adds a certain flavour and texture

pwa
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby pwa » 5 Jan 2021, 6:48pm

Funny really. When you haven't eaten (or wanted) meat for years (more than 30 in my case) the smell of cooking meat makes you feel a bit sick. It is as welcome to me as the smell we experience when the farmer down the road is spraying his fields with muck.

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661-Pete
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby 661-Pete » 5 Jan 2021, 6:57pm

There is some evidence of meat addiction amongst some people, but not all. A substance called Hypoxanthine, and various other stimulants present in meat, may be to blame. I don't know whether this sort of addiction can be conquered by will-power - as is the case for nicotine or alcohol addiction - but the first aim of would-be vegetarians, I suppose, is to summon up that will-power.

I ate quite a lot of meat in my younger days, but I believe I never suffered from this addiction. I was able to 'turn off' meat more or less instantaneously, without any 'craving'. Same with alcohol (I have never been a smoker). I admit that other people may not be so lucky.

If meat-eating were not so damaging - both to the welfare of the animals concerned and to the Earth as a whole - I wouldn't be so concerned, of course.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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Si
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby Si » 5 Jan 2021, 7:11pm

I made some vegan feta this week. Based on almonds.....it actually tastes quite nice....you wouldn't mistake it for real feta but it does have a feta-ness about it, and in some ways it was nicer than real feta.

I normally have vegan strong stilton in my sandwiches and it tastes just as good as normal massed produced sandwich cheese. Have tried other vegan cheeses that were somewhat plastic.

Much prefer alpro to cow juice these days.

The last vegan burger (UVC in Lichfield) I had actually tasted more meaty than most real burgers I've had.

Indeed, some of the best food I've had in the last few years has been at vegan restaurants ..... I wonder if it's because they are vegan they have to go the extra mile to proof their worth so the food tends to be top notch. Of course it costs a bit more too.

pwa
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby pwa » 5 Jan 2021, 8:31pm

Si wrote:I made some vegan feta this week. Based on almonds.....it actually tastes quite nice....you wouldn't mistake it for real feta but it does have a feta-ness about it, and in some ways it was nicer than real feta.

I normally have vegan strong stilton in my sandwiches and it tastes just as good as normal massed produced sandwich cheese. Have tried other vegan cheeses that were somewhat plastic.

Much prefer alpro to cow juice these days.

The last vegan burger (UVC in Lichfield) I had actually tasted more meaty than most real burgers I've had.

Indeed, some of the best food I've had in the last few years has been at vegan restaurants ..... I wonder if it's because they are vegan they have to go the extra mile to proof their worth so the food tends to be top notch. Of course it costs a bit more too.

Really? Compared to what? Steak night at one of our two local pubs has steaks (with chips) costing up to about £16. The dearest part of many meals is the meat.

Feta, along with cottage cheese, is one of the few cheeses I actually dislike, so I'd probably not try fake feta. I think if I went vegan again (last did it for about a year in the 1980s) I would simply work on constructing a cuisine without cheese, and possibly without pretend meat.

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661-Pete
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby 661-Pete » 14 Jan 2021, 10:08am

Update on our 'un-cheese':

The last of one of the blocks of the stuff I bought, went on a (home-made) pizza yesterday (along with some real cheddar). I have to say, the taste of this mock-cheese did tend to pervade the overall pizza flavour, despite my doing my best to mask it with lots of tomato, chilli, and oregano. Not the nicest pizza I've eaten. :( The next one will be topped with a mixture of good old Cheddar and Wensleydale, as per usual...

The other block went in the bin, I'm afraid. I hate throwing away food that's not gone off, but needs must...

Perhaps we ought to try making some of our own, as per Si's suggestion. Yes I like feta! But I'd rather not use almonds if possible.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

Elizabeth_S
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby Elizabeth_S » 14 Jan 2021, 1:12pm

I did try a vegan cheese substitute once, a powder that contained ground nuts, herbs, and dried yeast and it was really quite good in terms of flavour but obviously not texture. But then if you are vegetarian or vegan your meals are generally not the same as meat eaters as we eat allot of beans and pulses. I don't like vegan cheese and it isn't worth the calories, but I love dried yeast flakes, great for sprinkling on soup.

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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby Vorpal » 14 Jan 2021, 2:24pm

With a few exceptions, I have never liked much meat. I would often refuse to eat it growing up, and I stopped eating hot dogs & sliced bologna when I was about 6 or 7 years old.

I did eat burgers & mince in things until I was 18. The only meats I liked were chicken, in limited circumstances, and bacon. I have been mostly* vegetarian for more than 30 years & don't really miss either, but I sure would miss cheese and yogurt.

*mostly =
-I am not excessively picky about things like chicken broth in the sauce in Chinese restaurants, though I do specifically request vegetarian food, I know that they don't always think about the sauce, just whether it actually has meat in it
-I go through periods where I do occasionally eat fish or shellfish, though I find them rather rich

Most vegan substitutes don't do much for me, though we use some plant based milks.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby Vorpal » 14 Jan 2021, 2:29pm

pwa wrote:Funny really. When you haven't eaten (or wanted) meat for years (more than 30 in my case) the smell of cooking meat makes you feel a bit sick. It is as welcome to me as the smell we experience when the farmer down the road is spraying his fields with muck.

I have trouble with the smell in a butchers or the fresh meat section in a supermarket. I prefer shops where I am not forced to go through that section.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

kwackers
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Re: Vegan "Cheese"

Postby kwackers » 14 Jan 2021, 3:29pm

Vorpal wrote:
pwa wrote:Funny really. When you haven't eaten (or wanted) meat for years (more than 30 in my case) the smell of cooking meat makes you feel a bit sick. It is as welcome to me as the smell we experience when the farmer down the road is spraying his fields with muck.

I have trouble with the smell in a butchers or the fresh meat section in a supermarket. I prefer shops where I am not forced to go through that section.

The smell of cooking meat doesn't bother me at all (and I've been veggie for more than 40 years) but the smell of a butchers or 'that' section of a market fair turns my stomach.