One of the things I'm most looking forward to about this France move-- on a very base level--is the access I'll have to one of my favorite foods, Tartex. They used to sell this wonderful, weirdly meaty vegan spread at Rainbow, but they haven't carried it for about five years now. Every now and again, Claudia will surprise me with a can procured at some random health-food store on one of her travels, and I've recently discovered they sell cans of the herb flavor at Golden Era, of all places. but before that, I could only get my fix in Europe.
About this time last year, I made a trip to Vietnam, and on my last day in Ho Chi Minh City, I made my standard grocery-store excursion to load up on small edible trinkets for friends. Browsing the canned food aisle, I discoverd these tins of vegan pate. How bad could it be? I bought three at about $.30 each, and figured I'd give them away to my vegan-pate-loving compadres. First, though, I'd have to taste the stuff to A. make sure it wasn't horrible, and B. To determine whether it was good enough to hoard all to myself.
The first can I opened was a grave disappointment. It stunk, literally and figuratively, and not in a "faux meat" sort of way; just in a "something's wrong here" sort of way. Still, I had to taste it. Bad move. The flavor was sort of bitter, backed with a metallic bite and a hint of, perhaps, botulism. It was also kind of gritty/grainy, while simultaneously too fluffy. Jettisoned into the garbage, toute de suite.
Second can? Same deal.
A year later, I decided to give the third can the opportunity for redemption. It failed. If this is even possible, it looked, smelled, and tasted worse than the other two cans combined.
Moral of this story: Um ... don't buy vegan pate in Vietnam.