It was exciting to discover this new meat analog at what's sadly becoming a favorite hangout: Carrefour. While we haven't really been eating much in the way of fake foods since arriving on French soil nearly six months ago, the novelty of faux ground beef was too enticing to pass up.
Opening the package, I wasn't expecting this Hache Vegetal to bear such a startling resemblance to the Play-Doh of my youth. The best hope I had was that it would taste marginally better than the Play-Doh of my youth.
Even 20+ years ago when I still ate animals, I wasn't really into hamburger. Coming up with a way to prepare this mystery meat took a bit of effort, but I finally decided on meatballs, which I'd plop on top of that evening's spaghetti.
OK: so they aren't the prettiest meatballs ever. And why does my French stovetop (otherwise known as le hotplate) look so devastatingly mucky? Ack!
The finished product looks somewhat more appetizing than phases one, two and three. The taste: better than expected, and definitely much better than Play-Doh. The ingredients list printed on the Hache Vegetal packaging was relatively short--soy, tomato, onion, salt--and that's what I tasted. But maybe that was the sauce. In any case, when washed down with a glass of Bordeaux, everything--even Play-Doh inspired meat analogs--tastes divine.