A block of quorn, cut into cubes and fried to a golden brown, served with a nice plate of chips, makes for a tasty little meal. Well, it does if you leave out the quorn and replace it with some crisp streaky bacon and a sausage or two. And a fried egg and some beans. And several thick slices of black pudding. And a fried slice.
For anyone who has never tried quorn, in consistency it lays somewhere between a barbecue firelighter and a polystyrene ceiling tile. Taste wise, it, um, doesn’t have any to speak of, chewing the rubber on the tip of a pencil being a good deal more flavoursome. I tried it once and as I was munching away, all I could keep thinking was what is the point of this bloody stuff.
Years later, I saw a cookery show where the host made a quorn dish and he explained how to cook it in such a way that it soaked up the flavours of the rich sauce he prepared it in. It looked really appetising and convinced, I decided to give it another try. It’s healthier than meat and I figured swapping my usual pork chop or gammon steak for quorn once or twice a week would be no bad thing and also worked out cheaper. So I bought some quorn from the supermarket, coloured it in the pan as demonstrated on the show, then prepared a lovely sauce and stuck the whole thing into the oven in a casserole dish for a long, slow cook, thus allowing plenty of time for all the flavours to develop and be absorbed.
When I finally dished it up, it looked every bit as good as the TV chef’s version and I sat down to eat, licking my lips expectantly. The sauce was indeed delicious. However, once that left the palate and only the quorn remained in my gob, I was back to chomping on tasteless barbecue firelighter mixed with polystyrene ceiling tile and was also back to thinking, what is the bloody point of this stuff. It hadn’t absorbed any flavour whatsoever. Two hours bubbling away in the oven and I may as well have made the sauce, chucked in the quorn and served it immediately. What a waste of gas.
Maybe I just don’t have the quorn knack, but I won’t be giving it a third try unless I’m starving to death and quorn is the only available sustenance and even then I might just decide to choose death.
As for Soya mince, it looks sort of mince-ified, but that’s where the similarity ends. In fact, if you were to blitz a piece of cardboard box in a blender and then cook it up with a chopped onion and an Oxo cube, I reckon that would be at least as tasty and very likely more nutritious as well.
Pretend sausages and bacon made from quorn or Soya protein are nothing like the real thing, either. If the only way you can bear to become a veggie is by trying to kid yourself you are eating bangers and mash and bacon sandwiches, perhaps you should reconsider your meatless existence.
Besides, if Soya beans are so great, how come the only way they are never served is as beans? If they always have to be disguised as meat, I reckon they have something to hide. Personally, I don’t trust them. Sneaky little blighters.
I admit to having guilty twinges over eating animal flesh, but console myself with the fact that nature decided to make us humans omnivores. That’s why we have canine teeth for ripping and tearing. They aren’t designed for porridge or spuds, they are for taking lumps out of whatever unfortunate creature you have just managed to bash over the head.
Lions are carnivores, cows are herbivores and man and his best friend, the dog, are omnivores and eat whatever we can lay our hands on. Or paws. There’s no getting away from it and that’s why early humans were called hunter gatherers and not plain old gatherers. In fact, it’s quite possible the only reason man survived at all was because we could eat just about anything. Tubers, grasses like wheat and corn, nuts, berries and “look Og, I’ve knocked a monkey out of that tree with a big rock. Yum, yum.”
Dogs will also eat flesh or a nice boiled tatty with a plate of greens, so the only real difference between them and us is guilt. If your pet pit-bull, Sampson, rips a cute little fluffy bunny to shreds and chomps it down, they don’t beat themselves up about it afterwards. They just take a dump and then have a kip, completely untroubled. They would be much the same after ripping out the throat of a small child, barring the fact that we tend to shoot them in the head for doing that. Must be confusing for them.
Anyway, upshot of all this, quorn is tasteless rubbery crap, don’t waste your time on it. Scoff a fat greasy burger instead, then take a dump and have a kip. That dog’s no fool.