Thursday, 3 November 2011

Quorn! What's it good for?

If you ask Chumley to answer this question, his reply would be a resounding, "Absolutely nothing!"  It seems we have had a bit of a barney over meat replacement.  Here's my side of the story.

I accidentally ordered Quorn Chili in a restaurant, thinking it would contain little bits of corn.  It sounded interesting. It was officially good, despite the lack of niblets.  As I learned later, Quorn is a meat replacement, or mycoprotien, as it's more properly known.  It's a fungus among us: originally discovered growing in a field in Buckinghamshire in the 1960's and developed into a very successful meat replacement in Europe.  According to its website, it's grown industrially in large vats and bound together with egg white to make it the texture of ground beef.  It's also formed into countless other meatless items: fish-free fingers, chickenless tidbits, and nowhere near the deli slices. 

When I looked up the nutritional information, it was almost unbelievable.  It has no cholesterol, half the calories, and only 3% fat.  Half a million Quorn entrees are eaten in the UK every day.  It blends flavors into whatever it's cooked with, so I decided to put Quorn mince into our next spaghetti bolognese.  Needing to create blind testing conditions, I didn't inform Chumley.  He happily ate it, commented it was good, and was none the wiser.  Just to recreate my study, I did it again with the same result.  The third time, I got the guilts.  After dinner, I confessed.

Chumley looked like he had been poisoned by some rabid eco-terrorist.  It was far worse than when he's been exposed to toxic rhubarb.  (I didn't even mention it being grown in vats - that wouldn't have been therapeutic.)  The fact he had failed to identify it as not meaty on three occasions apparently pulled no weight.  He promptly demanded that I buy more bacon the next time I went shopping.  To get the fungus out of his system, he ate bacon sandwiches for two straight days with a militant determination.  I was sure he would turn to solids.  The pernicious grease was starting to form a permanent slick on all my good skillets.

I've been threatening to make a State Fair blue ribbon recipe out of apples and a can of Spam we were gifted, but I just don't think he can handle that kind of trauma after I damaged his meaty ego.  I just know he would love the chance to regale me with Spam jokes, but it's just too much of a risk.

If you're brave enough to try Quorn and live in the US, look for it at Super Wal-Marts everywhere, or peek in your nearest industrial vat for what I hope is a nice surprise.


ChaChaneen said...

Ha Ha - too funny!

monica. said...

i use quorn alot. its really good in spaghetti bolognese ;-)