Sunday, January 22, 2012

almonds to tofu

Was recently reading someone's thoughts on engineered meat and then the question of why we bother to make meat substitutes appear as meat rather than just existing on their own merits (or something like that anyway)...

 and then I thought about it, it's likely done for the same reason people have been doing it for hundreds of years, being that those who do did it not for lack of desire for meat but for because they were only giving it up for moral reasons. The main reason once being religion based and now for the distaste of killing animals for human nourishment (at least this is one example, others may be allergies and so on). It maybe not the rule, but there is a market for people who are giving up meat yet still crave it in their lives.

Our medieval counterparts were well versed in meat replacements, of course they had the benefit of freely using fish where most non-meat products are animal-protein free. I could only imagine that they would embrace a meat protein created in a test tube, once the church warmed up to the idea anyway. They did, however, use fish products like we use meat substitutes today... right down to shaping it to look like something a bit more desirable than... oh no, not fish again. What it truly remarkable however, was their manipulation of dairy products... milk, cheese and butter all from almonds (for example), and though I found the butter to result in something unique, I have made the other two finding they make wonderful substitutes in both cooking and eating as is. Only in recent decades have I seen Almond milk show up in department stores as a milk substitute, with additives but still good.

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