Yams, not lamb.
Beets, not beef.
In today’s Wall Street Journal, journalist Erin Ailworth puts the spotlight on the next generation of artisan butchers – a group of culinary creatives who are creating smoky, salty, “toothsome” flavors while circumventing the unsavory aspects of meat-making.
These plant-butchers are not only attracting the “veg curious” crowd, they’re creating this crowd by presenting plants in familiar forms, making eco- and animal-friendly foods fun and dang delicious.
As a good blogger, I had to do my personal research at one of the shops featured in the article: The Butcher’s Son in Berkeley, California. The meatball sub with fried mozz did not disappoint!
This begs the question (or at least, it begged the question to the president of Baum+Whiteman International Restaurant Consultants), “Why do soldiers in the anti-meat brigade want food that looks like a hot dog and tastes like a hot dog and smells like a hot dog, but isn’t a hot dog?”
The group’s president concluded: “The answer is, of course, they like hot dogs!”
I would add that the question itself is flawed: judging by the draw of plant-butcher shops, “soldiers of the anti-meat brigade” hardly represents the main consumer base. While it’s true many plant-based eaters do have a hankering for the taste of hot dogs, it’s also true that there is a huge demographic of people who eat meat regularly but would rejoice at the opportunity to savor those flavors without the adverse impact on the environment, global public health, and animals.
While artisan plant-butcheries are a high-end answer to this problem, anyone can find plant-based meats at their local grocery store. By serving the demand for meat with products that come from fields, not factory farms, these innovators are creating a delicious solution to satisfy the demand for meat without the destruction.
Thanks, for making plant-based meats so very on trend, friends! (Looking at you, Herbivorous Butcher team!)
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Header image credit: Herbivorous Butcher