Back on the cheese...
Sunday 21st October - A week since launch and that Vegan challenge
Hats off to all you vegans who can live without cheese and all its flavour packed glory. After spending the week on a vegan diet it's the return of the cheese sandwich that excites me the most - incredibly sad I know.
What has struck me this week (aside from my underlying ache for meat and cheese) is just how difficult it was to ensure I didn't trip up along the way. Hidden Cow's milk in muesli, Avocado's and the mass truck transportation of Bees, waiters trying to tell me Halloumi was vegan (which had my face caught between gobsmacking, drooling excitement and a 'he doesn't know what he's on about does he' confusion) and probably the most enlightening was learning all about 'isinglass'. You know 'Isinglass', the fish ingredient in beer - WHAT???
Can open, worms (or more accurately, fish, everywhere). As a craft beer lover and a two-time home brewer (both brews putting the 'pale', in pale ale), I feel ashamed that I had no idea fish guts were used in the brewing process (cut to me reading the labels of the home brew finings to see, yes, my 2 attempts had fish in).
As I frustratingly punched 'vegan beers' into google anticipating another of my key diet flavour providers would be off the table, I was surprised to see a whole industry mobilising around it. Beavertown, Magic Rock, Brewdog, Northern Monk, North Brewing, Yeastie Boys - all of them with vegan options or brewing completely without fish. Add to that the likes of Beerhawk having whole 'vegan' pages full of choice https://www.beerhawk.co.uk/browse-beers/browse-by-style/vegan-beer - Fish beer panic over. Phew.
So as the week comes to an end, cheese is back on the menu and my eyes have been opened to all the nooks and crannies that animal ingredients exist. I'm not sticking with a vegan diet (I'm far too weak!) but it has got me questioning food labelling, transparency and just where we really need animal products in our food & drink.
*No sneaky animal ingredients have been used in the roasting or flavouring of the Kernels Nuts. That's right #FishFreeNuts