I had ‘V-Pud’ for breakfast today.  I found it last week in a local health food shop (The Eighth Day Co-operative, Manchester) and popped it in the basket, full of newbie enthusiasm.

http://www.reallancashireblackpuddings.co.uk/vpud/

Lightly fried in olive oil the V-Pud was a satisfying addition to breakfast and suited the frosty morning ‘I’m hungry’ feeling.  It was pretty good and I’d give it 8 out of 10.  (Points are lost for being a bit crumbly and not being as strongly flavoured as I’d hoped.)  I’m glad it’s there as a great convenience food, and I’ll probably use it again.

On the other hand, as an ex-meat eater, there’s no disguising the fact that this ain’t black pudding as I knew it.  You can’t re-create the flavour of blood.  I don’t think meat-eating friends would find this the same as genuine black pudding, although they might accept it as a ‘vegetarian dish’.  I think over time I will forget what meat tasted like and this won’t be such an issue, but, at the moment, I feel genuinely excited by new, different, vegetable foods and recipes, and just a bit let down by anything that purports to try and convey the same experience as eating meat.

I’m not remotely tempted by the vegan cheese imitation products.  They look disgusting.  I’d rather learn how to cook with nuts, beans and tofu, rather than trying to ‘bring cheese back’ in other ways as a vegan delicacy.

My personal feeling is that Veganism is a different way of living and needs to be recognised as such.  If you think of it as a ‘cutting out’ and try to re-create taste experiences you had as an omnivore, you’re bound to be disappointed.  You need to find new things to get excited by, new food passions, and re-conceptualise the whole food paradigm.

What do you think?

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