How can plant proteins be butchered?
Tesco currently has the U.K. supermarket monopoly on bleeding burgers made from plants, but Sainsbury’s is going the whole fake hog by opening a meat-free butcher. The first catch: it’s only in one store, in Bethnal Green. The second catch: it’s only open for two days, from 21 June to 23 June. The third catch: there will be no butchery, because meat substitutes cannot be butchered.
This is a gimmick. It’s an interesting gimmick. Some of the more shortsighted arguments about vegan burgers, sausages, pulled pork and other substitutes have centred on their distance — or lack of it — from meat, questioning why vegans would want to be reminded of animal products; why vegans would eat something so unhealthy like a burger rather than, say, carrots. It’s a straightforwardly false equivocation of a vegan diet with wellness, and elides the fact that people can still desire the textural, gustatory, and aromatic characteristics of meat in meat replacements without the reason being an insatiable, repressed urge to devour something’s flesh. A vegan ‘butcher’ is a useful manifestation against those arguments, and an illustration of an evolving attitude to veganism, even if fungus-to-fungus doesn’t have quite the same impact as nose-to-tail.
And in other news...
- A new Hackney restaurant opening plots a familiar formula of vegan food, speciality coffee, and natural wine.
- The bagels worth devouring at all hours across London.
- Where to watch the Champions League final between Spurs and Liverpool with some decent food.
- Great British Menu banquet chef Luke Selby’s next move after Hide will be ... A pirate restaurant residecy in the Seychelles. The chef left Ollie Dabbous’ Michelin-starred Green Park restaurant earlier this month. [The Caterer]
- German Doner Kebab wants to open a new restaurant every two weeks, every week. Chain growth: Is it real? [Big Hospitality]
- Absolute scenes over an office birthday cake. [Metro]
- National Biscuit Day is definitely not real, but a YouGov poll making people angry about biscuits on social media is!
For #NationalBiscuitDay, we can reveal Britain's top five biscuits:— YouGov (@YouGov) May 29, 2019
1. McVitie's Milk Chocolate Digestives: 81%
2. Cadbury Fingers: 78%
3. Cadbury Milk Chocolate Digestives: 77%
4. Jaffa Cakes: 73%
5. McVitie's Original Digestives: 69% https://t.co/9jABQMlaQa pic.twitter.com/PNdHflOTiy
- Good tweet:
— Joe Warwick (@joewarwick) May 31, 2019