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Blog: All This Vegan Business

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The other night The Dishes On My Menu and I DINED OUT. The new hotel down the road from us were offering a Vegan Set Menu for Veganuary, so we thought we'd give it a go. The aforementioned Food On My Plate booked us in at 7pm (as the set menu wasn't available much later than that) which was EARLY for us, so, as she said, it felt more like we'd gone out for TEA than a Posh Dinner, and it turned out to be DELICIOUS.

It always seems rude NOT to go and do this sort of thing, like you're letting the side down if you DON'T buy a Vegan Thing when an organisation who normally wouldn't do something like that DOES. This makes wandering round the food hall in Marks & Sparks a bit of a GUILT TRIP as they have TONNES of new vegan stuff, and we don't have a fridge big enough to fit it all in - see also The Vegan Fridge in Waitrose.

It is all a LONG way from how things were when I first went Vegetarian, approx 7 million years ago in 1991. Back then you could only buy Special Vegetarian Foods in health food shops, and that was nearly all POWDERED. I did used to like the packet burgers and LOVED "Sizzles", the bright red powdered "bacon substitute" that tasted nothing like bacon but when EXTREMELY well with a hangover, and though I do miss them a bit I am aware that they would probably not be quite so nice if I tried them again. I had a BEANFEAST a few years ago which proved this theory to be correct!

It also used to be a PAIN eating out, as often there would be NOWT suitable, even for a cheese-friendly veggie like me. I distinctly remember going to a conference in FRANCE in the mid-90s when I spent several days explaining that no, HAM wasn't vegetarian no matter how much you grated it up onto a lettuce, and ending up eating my own body weight in RAW BEETROOT. There were always Veggie Cafes, with their Cork Noticeboards advertising protest marches and yoga classes, bead curtains into the kitchen, and "ethnic hat"-wearing proprietors, but if you didn't like falafel and flapjack you were a bit stuck. I really DO like falafel and flapjack, however, and miss those cafes too!

Nowadays it's all very different, with special MENUS at most of the chain restaurants, Actual Properly Nice Veggie Restaurants too, and the question "So why did you go vegetarian?" is being asked less and less often. It's lovely, but slightly disconcerting in that it appears to have happened because of CAPITALISM. There is clearly a market for this sort of food, so THE MAN answers the demand by providing Delicious Tasty Vegan Grub, which makes a "plant-based diet" much easier to follow, so MORE people do it, so THE MAN provides more food, and so on. It feels a long way from cork boards and powdered breakfast products, but if it's stopping people killing and eating quite so many animals then it is, I reckon, a good thing.

Having said that, if anyone knows anyone who works in purchasing for M&S, could they see about getting SIZZLES brought back please?

posted 30/1/2020 by MJ Hibbett

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Comments:

Richmond veggie sausages (Tesco) taste like sosmix. Interesting that the choice in Holland and Barrett has gone down as the choice everywhere else has gone up. Also, I miss granose savoury pudding.
posted 30/1/2020 by Chris abbott

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