“I don’t like this bacon”
She dangled the spam-looking piece of “bacon” across the table to me, her little face disappointed and bewildered.
“It doesn’t taste like bacon mum”
I had to agree. It had a squishy texture and a strange, unpleasant aftertaste. Nothing at all like bacon. And dare I say it, not at all as satisfying as bacon.
It was a risk. I knew it and took it.
And I’d lost.
I was hoping that bacon at a vegan cafe would taste in some tiny way like bacon.
How did they get bacon so wrong?
I trusted them.
They failed me.
They failed my daughter.
Well, why go to a vegan cafe when you want to eat bacon?
Sure. Good question.
But an even better question is: Why would they even mention bacon on the menu of a vegan cafe?
It was an experiment. My daughter has never been to a vegan cafe. She loves bacon.
I decided not to tell her about the “fakon” (what my mates and I named this fake bacon). I was curious, you see.
To see how well they could pass off this thing as bacon. And we all know kids are the harshest critics: if you want the brutal, honest truth, ask a kid and get brace yourself for their response.
Take serious notes from the feedback of innocent, uninhibited, “I don’t give a crap what you think of me” minds.
It’s made me think:
Should there ever be substitutes for food and drinks? Doesn’t it cheapen the real thing?
Like coffee. I feel sick when I drink coffee. Damn, I love coffee.
And no, dandelion tea is not a substitute. There is no substitute for coffee. I’ve mourned my loss and moved onto yuppie almond chai lattes.
Then there’s ice cream. Dairy-free banana ice-cream is beautifully creamy, soft, and sweet. And I don’t feel bloated or tired after eating it. Yes, it is a great substitute for ice-cream.
Oh, let’s not go there.
There is no substitute for chocolate. Anyone who even contemplates a substitute must be declared insane and thrown into a psych ward.
Tofu scrambled eggs. I didn’t think so. But you know what? I had ahili scramble at this same vegan cafe — and it was surprisingly good. It didn’t exactly taste like eggs, but it was tasty. I’d get it again.
So ok, substitutes are sometimes possible for the good food and drinks in life.
But should a vegan cafe attempt to call this thing — this fake impersonator, bacon?
“This doesn’t taste like bacon mum!”
I’m in the 6-year-old’s corner on this one.
Call it “fakon” (what my mates and I named this fake bacon). Call it tempeh. Call it anything.
Just don’t call it bacon, please.