It seems vegan fish and chips is a thing. Who knew?
Well, vegans, probably. But I didn’t.
As is probably apparent I’m not vegan myself, but today I’m in a vegan cafe and I was perplexed to see ‘Fish’ and Chips on the menu. Those inverted commas are important. It’s not – obviously – actual fish. It is in fact banana blossom, in batter.
I’d not met banana blossom before but apparently it’s the part of the banana that grows from the end of the bunch.
And it’s favoured in vegan food because it has the texture of fish. Huh. You learn something every day.
I’m not sure I’d agree it has entirely the texture of fish (also the word ‘texture’ used about food for some reason fair gives me the boak, but it’s marginally better than the terrible terrible M-word don’t even go there). It’s not quite the same: it’s a bit tangier, yet slightly sweeter, and it has the occasional little stringy bit in it, but on the whole it’s really not bad at all.
Between banana blossom standing in for fish and jackfruit standing in for pulled pork – not to mention lattes made with oat milk that tastes not entirely unlike cow milk – it does make me wonder if this wouldn’t actually be do-able.
I mean obviously it is do-able because people do it, but I’ve always been hesitant – though, in all honesty, it’s mostly because I tend to eat what’s in front of me. And the simple fact is when I go into the supermarket for a sammich what’s in front of me is usually some manner of meaty, or it’s gloomy rubber cheese, and that’s basically it. Your only vegan choice would be falafel – which is fine, but it doesn’t exactly showcase a whole range of options.
Even so, even if I’m not going to make the leap all the way to vegan, add in halloumi cheese as a pretty decent substitute for just about anything and the world’s your oy… your plant-based crispy shellfish alternative.