Have You Ever Eaten Seitan?

Unless you’re a hard core vegetarian, you probably haven’t. Seitan is often called “wheat meat” — it’s a protein product made of something called “vital wheat gluten”. Sometimes vegetarian restaurants shape seitan into something that looks like a pork chop or whatever. I can tell you, from having had lunch with someone who ordered same, that a seitan pork chop looks pale and nasty. I declined a bite.


The lack of wide societal craving for seitan, tofu and tempeh doesn’t mean the food industry has lost its incentive to find a meat substitute that is healthier and reduces greenhouse gasses and grinds up fewer cows. Enter a company called Impossible Foods, founded by Californian Patrick Brown. Brown’s company has created something called Beyond Burger, which bleeds beet juice in mimicry of a rare hamburger. You can actually buy Beyond Burgers in Whole Foods.

I have a Whole Foods store quite near me, but I have no desire — after reading the article — to run over and grab a pack of the bogusburgers. I’m a great believer in “eat real food — not too much”, and I will be a very late adopter, if ever, of faux meat. I know beet juice when I see it, and nothing will convince me that a bleeding Beyond Burger will be even vaguely reminiscent of beef.

2 thoughts on “Have You Ever Eaten Seitan?

  1. And in the context of the new numbers on beef consumption, this is even more interesting.

    I actually like tofu, but tempeh is just that — eh. I used to give the kids Tofurky Jerky, though!

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