By Roxanne Hill, Community Engagement and Events Manager
Vegan Outreach recently hosted its first ever Vegan Meat and Cheese Tasting at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Los Angeles.
The mostly non-veg crowd came to the event with curious minds—many wondering what vegan meats and cheeses could possibly be made of. As the guests lined up to savor the delicious feast, they became even more curious as they surveyed the platters of bagels with vegan cream cheese and the array of vegan meats. The meat trays were a delicious display of cold cuts, mini hot dogs and hamburgers, chicken salad, meat and bean casserole, and kebabs.
The attendees also took in the platters of vegan cheeses, which were overflowing with brie, cheddar, goat cheese, pepper jack, ricotta, and veganzola. To the omnivore’s eye, all of the food looked very similar to non-vegan meats and cheeses. During the event, the guests learned that vegan meats can be made from a range of plant-based ingredients, such as soy, peas, and wheat gluten. And they also learned that vegan cheeses can be made from nuts, seeds, chickpeas, potatoes, and tapioca starch.
Judging from their enthusiastic comments about the event, I think it’s safe to say people left feeling satisfied and amazed at what their taste buds had just experienced. Comments ranged from, “This chicken salad is delicious—it tastes just like chicken!” to, “This tastes and smells like meat!” Some of our guests even expressed a desire to start incorporating more plant-based foods into their meals.
Many thanks to the companies who supported us and contributed to the success of this event—Tofurky, Beyond Meat, Daiya, Field Roast, Follow Your Heart, Miyoko’s Kitchen, Treeline, and Vromage—L.A.’s Non-Dairy Cheese Shop.