I’ve been vegan for over a decade, and while I don’t remember the date or the year I can approximate the time span by other anniversaries. The more time passes, the more I am sure my belief of what is convincing ‘cheese’ ; ‘meat’ or other animal products devolves since I haven’t eaten the stuff. Still there are some things I miss and I enjoy finding or making equivalents. In the past 5 years faux cheeses have made huge advancements. no more sad soy cheese that just sits in planks on food not melting or doing much of anything. now you can buy Daiya products that melt and stretch (around DC several pizza places offer Daiya topping to the joy of vegans and lactose intolerant alike). If the flavor of more refined cheeses you’d have at a wine and cheese event are more your thing there have been great strides in cultured nut cheeses (yes, lets all collectively giggle at the word ‘nut cheese’). I really got into making cheeses, and basically want to host parties all of the time to justify keeping a fridge stocked full of vegan cashew chevere.
A food that I miss, but haven’t really tried to approximate was fried eggs. I’ve made frittattas and quiches (relying on tofu, and the aforementioned Daiya) and baked a ton never thinking of eggs – but the particular mouthfeel of squishy slightly slimy fried eggs is something I missed. This of course is a joke I often make – while veganism isn’t inherently more healthy than consuming animal products eliminating fried eggs from my diet has probably saved me from the heart disease that is so prevalent in my family. Still, it is a flavor/mouthfeel I miss. So when I saw Vegg being mentioned on twitter, I was intrigued. Fake egg yolk? The cookbook was even more interesting – a fake fried egg? Last week I visited Pangea (a local treasure – but a mail order hub for all of your vegan needs) and picked up a book and canister of the vegan goodness. Now, a few of the recipes – fried egg included- call for obtuse items you can only really get from a restaurant supply shop or Amazon.
My fried egg experiment resulted in success (tasty faux eggs!) that had a hefty up front cost (not the vegg, but rather Himalayan salt and stuff like calcium chloride) and prep time.
Still I’m glad I got all the ingredients – it’s fun to sometimes let your food be a science experiment (see also my kombucha brewing). The next real test will be serving some fried vegg to my Mom – an adventurous eater who isn’t vegan, but a person who loves trying all my ‘food tests.’ I don’t think this’ll be the magic ‘anyone can go vegan’ item (being an obtuse ingredient that requires a lot of fancy other stuff to replace a cheap protein source) but for those of us missing yolk flavor, or the joy of a sunday morning fried egg Vegg is a great substitute.