Most vegetarian “replications” of non-vegetarian items suck. They are chewy, flavorless, cardboard-like versions of scrumptious meaty things. If anyone tries to convince you that boca burgers taste just like a nice juicy slab of ground beef, you should set their pants on fire (or possibly find some other less violent way to indicate that you know they are lying). Very occasionally, you can find a “vegetarian replication” that doesn’t suck. Usually, this is because they didn’t try to actually replicate the animal-filled version, they just made something yummy (often with lots of cheese). Hogan’s Hideaway in Rochester, NY makes an absolutely delicious lentil-burger smothered with homemade thousand island dressing red onions, crispy sproutsw and melted NY sharp cheddar. It is seriously delicious, and I think I like it as much as I recall liking avacado cheeseburgers. But it *doesn’t* taste like a cheeseburger (at all). And if you are having a PMS cheeseburger craving and all you can think about is meaty goodness, it doesn’t quite fill that void. It isn’t a replication of a meaty thing, it is just something that is delicious in its own right.
This is why I was shocked to find Sweet & Sara’s Vegan Vanilla Marshmellows, because they are delicious *and* they perfectly replicate everything a marshmellow should be. Seriously. I wouldn’t lie about something like this.
For those of you that aren’t vegetarian, you probably never think about the fact that many delicious sugary treats like marshmellows and gummi bears contain gelatin. Gelatin is created by a truely disgusting process where collagen is extracted from the bones, connective tissues, organs, and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, pigs and horses (yum?). As a vegetarian, I crave many meaty things. I rarely feel the desire to go out and munch an entire bag of marshmellows, but I am insanely saddened when my friends decide to have an improptu backyard bonfire complete with getlatin-filled, yummy gooey, smores. Smores are delicious. And normally I can’t have them. Anyone who hates smores is clearly a communist (and not in the nice, hippy, sharing sort of way. They are communist in the evil, violent, eugenics loving dictator sort of way).
Anyways, some friends have convinced me to go backpacking this weekend. This sounds absolutely horrible (why would I want to carry a 40 lb pack through 10+ miles of wilderness a day so that I could sleep on hard stoney ground in a make-shift shelter when I could be at home on a plush mattress?). But, since backpacking is an occasion to have yummy smores, I let myself be convinced join the trip. And the first thing I did was go online and order Sweet & Sara’s delicious marshmellow treats.
I spent the next few days waiting for the UPS man to arrive. But he didn’t. Yesterday, I received an email saying that UPS couldn’t deliver my marshmellows. I had used google checkout. And even though I typed in my new address (which apparently was used for billing purposes only), google checkout is “smart” and sent them to my old address (which I didn’t type in, but google had on file). I hate google.
I actually cried when I found out that I was going to spend a weekend backbacking *without* smores to make it marginally OK (although it wasn’t really about the marshmellows, I’ve had a really bad week and it seems like *nothing* can go right). After the crying and panic subsided, I went to the Sweet & Sara website and looked for local retailers that might carry delicious vegetarian friendly, marshmellow-goodness. I was in luck. According to the S&S website, Whole Foods in Cupertino (which isn’t that far from me) carried them. Yays!
So, after work yesterday, I drove to whole foods. Yummy marshmellows for me. Yum, yum, yum! Yays! I could already feel my mouth watering. But either the S&S website lied to me, or both me and the Customer Service people at Whole Foods are too retarded to find them. And I looked *really* hard. For a long time. Now I am going backpacking and I don’t even get yummy, gooey, smores goodness. This weekend is going to suck. A lot. I hate everything.