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Best vegetarian alternative to bacon?

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  • Best vegetarian alternative to bacon?

    I like the smell, but can't abide eating the flesh of gawd's creatures.

    Anyone?

  • #2
    Carrot sticks while enjoying the smell of someone else's bacon?

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    • #3
      Morningstar products.

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      • #4
        I have not tried any veg bacon products, but I do like the Morningstar breakfast patties (sausage patty replacements). I do not really care for the breakfast links though. I did once try to make some veg bacon, with tempeh, marinated in liquid smoke and then baked. It was not awful, but not something I felt the need to make a regular part of my diet.

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        • #5
          I hear you Honky. I've been a vegetarian for forty years. If I wanted to eat something that tasted like meat...I'd just eat meat.

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          • #6
            Smoked, grilled foods, freshly roasted green chili's are one of my fav's I'll be roasting a bunch from the garden this Sunday and freezing about 3/4's of them for the winter. Talking about that it's a bout time for a garden thread. Even Ron was contributing in a positive manner to that thread.

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            • #7
              You may as well eat <whatever> while smelling the real thing. Fake bacon is an abomination.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by whitehonky
                Why do vegetarians try so hard to make things taste like meat?

                I'm not a veg, but eat more veg than meat by a considerable margin, and enjoy the non-meat taste of things that aren't meat.
                Good question. I think that people and food companies like to make food that tastes "good." Over the years they have developed a lot of products that taste "good", some of which are traditionally made with meat. And most vegetarians were not always so, so they know of certain meat based products that taste 'good" to them. So, in the quest to make stuff that tastes "good" copying "good" tasting meat products is a sensible way to go. Why not just eat meat? Presumably for whatever reason the person became a vegetarian.

                I personally do not like things like vegetarian sausage because it tastes like meat, because I do not not know what "meat" tastes like (or, it tastes like all sorts of different things, depending on how it is prepared). I do like the seasonings that go into sausage, and it is that rather than the meat that appeal to me. Whether those seasonings are conveyed in a matrix of ground up pig or ground up soy beans, the taste I am going for is of the seasonings. I have chosen to go with ground up soy for various reasons that I am not sure make complete sense (health, environmental impact, animal welfare), and I am not necessarily consistent in the rest of my life to these ideals, but for now it just sort of seems right.

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                • #9
                  Easy! Smoked Black Cod (sable-fish) Although they may be Odin's creature. And not that foolish american version, you want the american product for Japan market. Bacon of the fish world.

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                  • #10
                    By far it is seitan. While I can whip up seitan I suck at the correct spike/sauce recipe to baconify, but I've had some that is nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. Had some mean seitan buffalo wings, too.

                    That said, I'm with Edgewood. I don't seek this stuff out. On occasion I'll be at a restaurant and they'll have it on the menu and it'll speak to a salt craving I'm having, but if at home I usually go for something other than a meat wannabe to fulfill the same craving.

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                    • #11
                      Just to add, if you are not gluten intolerant, do you know what seitan is?

                      Hint: people who are gluten intolerant already know the answer.

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                      • #12
                        Hi all!

                        My two cents. Meat-type products, apart from other characteristics - texture, etc - have a rich protein-y taste, often referred to as umami, a fifth taste in addition to the usual four categories of sour/salty/bitter/sweet. (Cesare can probably correct my oversimplifications since it's a Japanese word and concept.) This helps - for me anyway - when thinking about how I would make a recipe without meat. I eat meat, but cook with vegetables more often, and am not that interested in explicitly fake meat.

                        When I think about "substitute for bacon" I think, for example, "What can I make fettucine carbonara with instead of pancetta," and two of my favorites are good mushrooms, or asparagus. Neither of these is an obvious bacon substitute, but they both go well with eggs. Mushrooms have some of that rich taste, and although asparagus isn't a protein and umami-rich substitute, the sharpness of its taste, and the firm texture, complements the other ingredients in the same way that the bacon or pancetta would.

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                        • #13
                          Asparagus goes great with bacon... just sayin'.

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                          • #14
                            ******mit - if you make carbonara without meat it IS NOT CARBONARA.

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                            • #15
                              Strictly speaking, if you make it with bacon instead of pancetta, it isn't really carbonara.

                              Yours is sort of my point, I don't want to make meat-substitute carbonara, I want to make something else that tastes good. Anyway, here's an amusing article on how everyone has their own religious opinions about carbonara: it's almost as bad as telemarking.

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