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Meat and Me
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In a comment Kim Malo asks:

Do you eat much with seitan and tofu to try to get some of the meaty tastes and textures or do you not miss them and stick mostly with veggies, legumes, grains, etc?

Odd you mention this because just yesterday I brought home a couple dozen tins of Worthington's faux meats. It might seem prematue to be stocking up for next winter already but, judging by the dust on the tins and how the shelf -- stuck back by the stockroom door -- never seems to get refilled, my guess is that some shrewd salesman talked the grocery into taking on several cases, nobody but me buys it, and one of these days I'll have to find a new supplier. But not for next winter...

Since I'm concerned with keeping a supply of veggie-steaks, turkee slices, fri-chik and the like on the shelf (we also buy frozen varieties but our refrigerator is small) I guess there must be something about meat that appeals to me -- unlike some vegetarians I know who would prefer to avoid any semblance of animal flesh. Or maybe it is just habit since we've only been vegetarians for about eight years. I'm used to meals planned around meat.

I always tended to prefer my meat to be disguised. Steaks I could live without. Invariably I'd order them "very well done." Forget rare. I wanted ash on the outside and the inside. I didn't even want to see pink in my steak. Blood on the plate turned my stomach.

What I liked were unnatural meats: Luncheon meats, hotdogs, bacon, sausages, Slim Jims. Meats that derived most of their taste from spices. Or fairly flavorless meat, like chicken, in some sort of sauce, or meat surrounded with complimenatry foods -- tomatos with bacon in a BLT, for instance.

Food is mostly context, I think. A strip of fake bacon, by itself, might not be very convincing, but put it next to a fried egg and hash browns and you have breakfast. The imposter is occupying a niche that needs to be filled. The taste buds might know better, but the mind sketches in the flavor it expects.

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