Lee Hall of Friends of Animals and VeganMeans.com tests it out with Chef Trish Sebben-Krupka
Vegan caviar. Really!
We heard this Danish product was a hit when it debuted at the New York City Vegetarian Food Festival. At just about $10 a jar it’s a lot gentler than regular caviar on the wallet as well as on sea life.
But would such a product hold up to the expectations of a chef who knows the taste of sturgeon caviar?Could online retailers and hosts of elegant affairs be inspired to drop caviar made from sturgeon—fish for whom Friends of Animals and WildEarth Guardians recently petitioned as urgently needing the protection of the U.S. Endangered Species Act—and offer seaweed-based varieties with a straight face?
I (Lee) had caviar—black, and, you know, the kind we shouldn’t be eating—about 30 years ago, before becoming vegan. It had a fairly strong taste. Cavi•Art is a bit lighter, with a less oily feel. It’s showy, versatile and great fun to experiment with: vibrant, delightful and real in its own right.
But who’s going to listen to me? I’m vegan.
To test my view, I met with chef Trish Sebben-Krupka.Trish, whose culinary area of choice is vegan-organic cuisine, does have extensive experience as a corporate chef in the omnivorous sphere, and can be expected to know more than I do about how this will likely play out in the gourmet world. So I stopped by the local Trader Joe’s for some caviar aficionados’ wafers, and headed to northern New Jersey to meet with Trish.
Here’s everything laid out and ready for the serious business of tasting.We started with the yellow Cavi•Art together with a bit of Sour Supreme (by Tofutti) on the water crackers. Trish liked the “texture authenticity”; yet the taste of the yellow Cavi•Art is not just like roe. That’s not a complaint: we found the Cavi•Art products did very well on their own terms.
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