Foods You Can’t Vegan
I’m not vegan. Let me just get that out of the way, for those who don’t know already. However, I know a lot of vegetarians and vegans, and I don’t like turning anyone away from my table, so I often try to include information on how to make vegan versions of my recipes. There are, however, some foods for which there really is just no acceptable substitute. So, I’m starting a list here of ingredients that are indispensible in my kitchen for cooking a wide variety of dishes, and I would like you to feel free to add to it.
I should note that I am not the world’s biggest fan of making substitutions, like using faux meat; I’d rather create an interesting vegan dish that stands on it’s own without resorting to “mock” products. However, sometimes, I feel bad when I come up with a recipe that not everyone can eat, like the latest I’ve posted, my signature pasta, Fettuccine alla Gemma. So, if you could help me out here and share your experiences, I’d appreciate it, and I’m sure others would, too.
1. Fish sauce. I’ve been racking my brains about this for a long time, but there’s just really nothing else that comes anywhere near the taste of fish sauce. Soy sauce is totally not the same thing, and although a lot of people use soy sauce in place of fish sauce, the fact is that cuisines that feature fish sauce usually don’t use soy sauce, so it’s really not an appropriate substitute, anyway. I have been meaning to experiment with seaweed and mushroom sauces to see if something even marginally acceptable can be made, but I have little hope.
2. Cheese. Especially aged cooking cheeses, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano and Gruyère. Somebody tried to tell me once that nutritional yeast tastes “cheesy”. Umm…no, it doesn’t.
3. Bacon, of course. I don’t really even need to mention it, but cured pork products are an essential flavoring ingredient, and nothing else has quite the same flavor.
4. Milk. While many sorts of plant milks can be delicious in the right context, there really isn’t anything else that can substitute in something like a Sauce Béchamel. Olive oil can be used in place of butter, but let’s face it, soy milk doesn’t really taste all that good, and things like almond milk have a totally different flavor.
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- bittergrapes said:fish anything is impossible to vegan. They don’t even make any fish substitute products. I can’t tell you how much I miss tuna.