Ve­gan food pre­dic­tions a lit­tle flaky

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODEATING -

SA­MUEL MUS­TON

LON­DON: If Forbes Mag­a­zine were a per­son, it would prob­a­bly wear hemp trousers. That’s the con­clu­sion I’ve drawn since the busi­ness bi­ble de­clared that “high- end ve­gan” food was go­ing to be the num­ber one food trend next year.

The list, com­piled by chefs, restau­ra­teurs and “food ed­u­ca­tors”, makes in­ter­est­ing read­ing. Ap­par­ently, it will soon be de rigueur for wine to be served out of beer taps, while pas­trami will be the thing from which dreams (and ev­ery­one’s lunch) is made. Oc­to­pus gets the nod, too: “In five years,” it de­clares, “oc­to­pus will be the new prawn.”

Now, it may be that bar­men will soon be “pulling” glasses of pinot noir and my gran will serve pas­trami sand­wiches af­ter en­joy­ing oc­to­pus cock­tail with my aunt Joan. Such things are not be­yond the realms of pos­si­bil­ity. But, ve­gan food in the main­stream? I think not.

It’s not that go­ing the way of the veg­etable isn’t an at­trac­tive prospect. I re­mem­ber a cou­ple of years ago writ­ing a piece about raw­food ve­g­ans and go­ing to meet a par­tic­u­larly com­mit­ted trio in a lo­cal café. As soon as I’d walked through the door, I knew who they were – their skin shone bright like ap­ples.

They’d cho­sen this strain of ve­g­an­ism, they said, “be­cause of the health ben­e­fits” – and in­deed, they did look as though they could fly off to scale Ever­est or fill in for Usain Bolt. They also looked fed up.

I wasn’t en­tirely sur­prised to bump into one of them at the bar of a very un-ve­gan restau­rant in cen­tral Lon­don a year or so later. Yes, he was in­deed eat­ing here, he told me. He had suc­cumbed, he said, for that most com­pelling of rea­sons: “bore­dom”.

That’s the rub, and that’s why I’d bet the ranch on Forbes’ pre­dic­tion not com­ing true. Be­cause for most of us, go­ing out for din­ner is an in­dul­gence, a lit­tle treat; a time to drink wine, or­der three cour­ses and undo the top but­ton of your trousers in the car on the way home. It is about plea­sure un­al­loyed, which is not nec­es­sar­ily what ve­g­an­ism is about.

Most of us recog­nise that eat­ing a few ex­tra veg­gies is good, but pay­ing to eat in a restau­rant where the menu has been de­nuded of meat, eggs, but­ter and milk seems, well, like a missed op­por­tu­nity.

There have been valiant at­tempts to change our habits, of course – Saf in Shored­itch, east Lon­don, sol­diered on for sev­eral years serv­ing sal­sify fet­tuc­cine and flax crack­ers – but ul­ti­mately it was all in vain. It couldn’t crack the cul­tural nut. Its din­ing room was sel­dom more than half full.

While I have no doubt Forbes is pretty on the money when it comes to bonds, gilts and stocks, when it comes to din­ner, lunch and tea... I’m not so sure. – The In­de­pen­dent

PIC­TURE: AP

THE NEW PRAWN? A South Korean cou­ple eats a live oc­to­pus in Seoul, South Korea, where it is con­sid­ered a del­i­cacy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.