THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
I’m a professional foodie because of my omni-voracious appetite. I eat everything. It’s my job. I am also a fitness freak, so I spend a great deal of time making sure I eat a nutritious and well-balanced diet. Chicken, fish, fruit and veg, low carbs and very little dairy keeps me trim and virtuous. This is only sustainable because several times a month I eat professionally and several times a year I treat myself to a Dirty Burger. I refer to this as junk food. At Rudy’s, the vegan alternative, it’s American comfort food. Never mind. Vegans deserve a good binge just as much as their cruel counterparts.
The success of Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner, founded by Ruth (Rudy) Mumma and Chef Matthew Foster has now produced London’s first permanent vegan butcher with online deliveries scheduled to serve the entire UK. This will undoubtedly be wonderful news for vegans across the country when it happens. At present, everything is sold out! Wiped out on day 1! I was one of the lucky few to receive a press package filled with enough meat alternative to last a week.
My main beef (sorry) is that no ingredients were listed on any of the packages so I had no idea what I was eating. Normally, nothing passes my highly trained lips if I don’t know what it is. I have since been assured that the problem is being corrected.
The difficulty with veganism is ensuring the diet has enough protein. This is especially true if you are physically active. There is plenty of protein to be had in a plant-based diet but it requires vigilance and knowledge. Alternatives such as Rudy’s have a great potential to fill that gap instead of just “comforting” their cruel-free customers. I would have been comforted myself had I known how much protein I was getting during my meatless week.
To a carnivore, these products don’t compare to meat, but they absolutely do stand up on their own. Nearly all contain too much sodium; the Rack of Jack (vegan ribs) had so much salt I couldn’t eat it. Otherwise, I was very impressed.
Baycon (£3.50/100g) has a very satisfying crunch when you fry it up. Pastrami (£3.50/100g) was a great likeness in flavour but the texture lacked “chew”.
Soysage patties (£4.50/240g) were my hands down favourite. Very close to a real sausage patty, they caramelised beautifully in the pan and came the closest to real meat. Turkey Roll with soy sage stuffing (£10/750g) was similar.
The Dirty Burger (£5.50/260g) and meatballs (£5.50/320g) were made of the same mince, well spiced with a bit of heat. The burgers fry up beautifully but the meatballs remained a bit pasty inside. Were I to try again, I would simmer them in tomato sauce for 20 minutes after frying.
I felt great during my meatless week. Not enough to convert me though. I’m destined for a life of cruelty. It’s my job!!!