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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Temp(eh)ting non-meat proteins

Meanwhile we observe Finnish food and eating habits we are equally keen on learning about the "new meat" grown from stem cells without killing a single animal. Since we cannot afford to buy artificial meat (it'd be hundred thousands of Euros for a kilo), we looked around the market to find non-meat protein sources. In the next P.a.P. tasting we provided tofu, tempeh, seitan and Quorn for closer inspection.

Before tasting (Photo: Niina Ala-Fossi)

Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk then pressing the curd into white blocks. Typical ingredient of many Asian cuisines. An ancient food, it was invented some 2000 years ago in China. Tofu has low calory count and relatively high protein content. Read more about tofu.

Tempeh is another traditional, yet not very ancient soy product from Asia, more precisely from Indonesia. Soy beans go through fermentation by using Rhizoporus fungi that "binds" soy beans together thus resulting a firm block and earthy taste. Other legumes (pea, lupin, etc) may also be used for tempeh. Readily edible, but the net has many recipes showing various usages of tempeh. Read more about tempeh.

Seitan or "wheat meat" is basically gluten, the protein abundant in cereals (wheat, rye, etc). To make seitan white flour dough is washed until all starch has dissolved leaving the insoluble protein as an elastic mass. Rich in protein, because it's basically nothing but protein. Cook or fry before eat it. Read more about seitan.

Quorn is a new invention, a high-tech food created just a few decades ago to tackle the protein hunger of  the ever growing human population. It is based on mycoprotein (protein gained from fungus) and designed so that it resembles (in structure, color and smell) to real meat. It is available in many forms and tastes in the EU and US. Quorn is a registered trademark of Marlow Foods. Read more about Quorn.

We were all keen on trying these foods as all except one had never tried most of them, except perhaps the tofu.

In short, the more it tasted like meat the more people liked it. We can't help it, most of us were carnivores. Check out the results in the prezi below!

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