Tuesday, August 29, 2006
The Quest for the Perfect Veggie Burger
Writing my post yesterday got me to thinking about veggie burgers. What is it that makes the perfect veggie burger? They come in all shapes and sizes. When I was a teenager we used to by dehydrated vege burger mix. It came in a packet and you just had to add water. I wouldn't eat that kind now - for a start those dehydrated foods always give me stomach ache.
If you buy a veggie burger in a chip shop it is usually pulped vegetables with breadcrumbs on the outside and deep fried (but for the colour you wouldn't really know they were vegetables). McDonalds sells veggie burgers made of quorn that are thin and grey - they both look and taste like damp cardboard. Readymade veggie burgers come in all shapes and sizes - some are loaded with cheese, Cauldron make mushroom burgers, some are like the chip shop version, some are like fake beef burgers.
I find that they are all lacking something. You want them but they leave you feeling vaguely disatisfied. The best veggie burger I have had recently was at the Forest Arts Cafe in Edinburgh. It is hard to say what was in it but I think it may have been chick peas and vegetables. It was nuttier and more substantial than most, plus it came in a toasted bagel not a pappy bun so there was more to get your teeth into.
I am not a whole food nut but I find myself becoming more and more disgruntled at how pappy food is becoming - sliced bread, shop cakes, veggie burgers - it's like they are all made out of the same bland old mush. When we were in Edinburgh and eating on the go a lot I found myself craving real food, sald that wasn't just a few bits of limp lettuce and cucumber, crunchy vegetables, chick peas, proper food.