I have often wondered why Vegans lust after mock meat and cheese given the uncomfortable similarity with what they are trying to avoid in the first place but perhaps the umami tastebud drives a primitive urge. Could a lump of seitan really replace a roast leg of lamb in my affections? Would a wodge of plant-based goo ever satisfy my brainstem’s Camembert receptor?
In the spirit of exploration I forked out £14-50 for a sample box from vegusto.co.uk and the next day an unremarkable box landed on my doorstep filled with equally unremarkable vacuum-packed offerings – 2 mushroom and cheese burgers, a roll of melting cheese, a flat piece of piquant cheese and an unnaturally grey farmhouse sausage.
If the enclosed leaflet had not proudly boasted that between them these objects had won 2 great taste gold star awards 2013, 2 PETA vegan food awards (Best Vegan Burger and Best Dairy-free cheese) 2013, Winner of Overall Best Food at the Free-From Awards 2012, Veg Fest Best Burger Award 2012 and a Highly Commended at the Free-From Awards 2012, I might have filed them in the bin.
It also announced that all Vegusto foods are dairy, GMO, Palm oil, preservative, artificial colour, phosphate, sugar, and cholesterol- free, Kosher, Halal and made in a 100% Vegan factory in Switzerland. On examination they have a usefully long shelf life of three to four months which is perfect if you’re buying in bulk. Ordering is online or by phone and they deliver to the UK mainland. The repertoire includes sandwich slices, steaks, vegan mayonnaise, luncheon rolls and a few more sausages varieties and if you can’t navigate a supermarket aisle they helpfully supply a range of meal packs.
Anyway, prepare for the Blue Goat Taste Trials scored in Nibblets – 0 (Avoid) to 5 (Padlock Your Fridge). Without inducement or favour here come some of my very own creations made with these products and served with a dollop of that increasingly rare condiment – an unsponsored opinion.