Now, before anyone starts thinking that I am health-intolerant, I will explain myself. I have been vegetarian, and I lived very well as such. I was a happy little vegetarian.
My downfall came when I had a little too much to drink, decided I should have something in my stomach to impede the rush of alcohol into my bloodstream, and made a cheese and ham sandwich. It was instinct, and I was two bites in before I realised my principles had withered and died.
I seem to remember my own vegetarianism only came about because my mother made a meatloaf which was, far and away, the worst thing she ever cooked. It was flavourless mush with a crust of tomato ketchup and it ruined American cuisine for me until such time as I discovered Mississippi Mud Pie, some twelve years later.
However, my question is this. Why do vegetarian sausages exist? And, as a follow-up, why do people insist that you would never know the difference between minced meat and meat substitute?
Surely vegetarians aren’t seeking out vegetables that can be made to taste like meat? So, logically, meat-flavoured non-meat must be a hook to garner the attention of the steak-obsessed.
I can understand the chicken-replacement looking, and potentially, tasting like chicken because even chicken doesn’t taste like chicken any more, as I learnt from my voluntary grandfather, Ivor.
However, the inherent meatliness of the humble sausage must situate it in direct opposition to the mushroom eaters. And with all this being the case, during various sojourns in supermarkets and bijou little stores, I wonder why sausages made from a meat-substitute never seem to include other ingredients.
Just about the best sausages in the history of my life were made from pork, red onion and mature cheddar. Where are meat-replacement sausages with apple? Or honey and mustard?
If non-meaty sausages are to be given a space on the shelf, why are vegetarians not up in arms about the lack of herbs?
A skinless cylinder of puréed mushroom and rusk, although not challenging to the palette, could surely be made more enticing.
And when did it become necessary for all protein to come in nugget form?
Seriously. I don’t say that nuggets should only exist for children but at the same time, nuggets are not suitable for adults.
Even as pounded meat product, breaded and fried, there’s something intrinsically pre-teen about it.
Then again, I’ve spent the better part of ten years living on microwave pizza, so who am I to judge? I’m almost more e-number than woman these days.