Friday, April 14, 2006
Sweetie, Eat Your Quorn
Quorn was introduced to me by a co-worker some time ago. She told me that at a dinner party she fed her guests Quorn in place of chicken and no one was the wiser. I'm not easily fooled into enjoying meat substitutes so of course I was skeptical. Tofu has a tiny corner of my heart, true, but tofu is not meat. It doesn't look like meat and it doesn't taste exactly like meat even though it has a bit of meaty undertone. I have enjoyed a number of meat substitutes that were mainly TVP (textured vegetable protein) but sometimes they can have a grainy texture (no pun intended, though it is funny).
Quorn is extremely easy to cook. On a plate with a splash of water, covered with wax paper it takes 2 minutes to microwave from frozen. That's my kind of food! It's loaded with protein and has a small amount of fiber. I tried Quorn before I read anything about it. I think that may have been to my advantage. I have found that if I microwaved it slightly longer, say... 2 minutes 10 seconds it had a firmer, more chicken-like texture and less of the tangy fermented-yeast flavor than when I microwaved it for only 1 minute 50 seconds. And that was the only drawback I saw.
So, you ask, why does it have a tangy fermented-yeast flavor at all? I'll give you one guess. Yep, Quorn is made (in their words) with mycoprotein, from the fungi family - and a relative of mushrooms, truffles, and morel, that offers a strong nutritional profile and an authentic meat-like texture. But that's not all. On Wikipedia, I found this history, During the 1950s, a shortage of protein-rich foods was predicted by the 1980s. In response to this, many research programmes were undertaken to utilise single-cell biomass as an animal feed. Contrary to the trend, Lord Rank instructed the Rank Hovis McDougall (RHM) Research Centre to investigate converting starch (the waste product of cereal manufacturing undertaken by RHM) into a protein-rich food for human consumption. As I said, I'm glad I tasted it before I knew any of this as it sounds a tiny bit like Soylent Green.
So, is it tasty enough to replace all of my chicken meals? Almost
Is it something I would feed to my family? I doubt they'd go for it but they are the pickiest.
Should you try it? Absolutely! It's excellent with BBQ sauce.
Update: For those who are sensitive, it does contain egg protein and wheat ingredients.