SOLITARY DINER AT HOME
VEGGIE WEEK W/C Sunday 15th May 2016
In respect to those whom I admire, but to whose principles I all too often fall short of, I dedicate this article – to vegetarians and vegans everywhere!
The thing about vegans is that they are right – theirs is the moral and the ethical high ground whilst we lesser beings slosh around in the troughs of milk and veal.
But pause to consider: a cow is artificially impregnated, she gets pregnant, produces milk to feed her calf; the calf is taken from her, the mother’s milk is piped and bottled, her baby slaughtered to re-appear as veal – small wonder a guiding principle of veganism is NO DAIRY!
And I mean what of baby octopus? It is not a high step to higher moral/ethical ground.
The wine I chose was a young Chateauneuf du Pape (from the Co-Op) but it did have some earthiness and priced at £15:99 is good value; the Co-op is to be praised for being among the first of the big boy supermarkets to show a wine’s contents on the label and presenting wines suitable for vegetarians and indeed sometimes vegans. As do other supermarkets. But whilst on the higher ground, it is again salutary to look at the hidden secrets of wine processing. Organic? Yes, not sprayed with insecticides, but containing preservative sulphites and in the fining process various agents are involved, from milk by-products to blood and bone marrow, fish oil and fish bladder membranes. So wine although made from grapes, often unsprayed by chemicals, still has animal parts contained therein.
So with this grace said, I begin my pilgrimage: to find a vegan wine to match a vegan meal.
Down a slippery slope I slurp!
So for the meal to complement the vegan wine?
I thought nut roast -WHOLEFOODS have a SUPER VEGAN one but then I thought -try harder! I finally came up with a lovingly cooked Moroccan tagine –date and chickpea: olive oil, cumin, garlic, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, crushed tomatoes and chickpeas; serve on a bed of couscous with lemon. All this I could have done (of course) but it is available as above from FOOD.
The meal did complement the wine hugely to my satisfaction, so I am now intrigued and look forward this week and indeed in weeks to come to making(and/or finding) vegetarian and vegan dishes that can match gracefully vegetarian and vegan wines. A mission!
But as I ate my beautiful Moroccan repast and drank the rich French wine, I re-read some apposite Irish poetry – this from The Hermit’s Song written in the C7th by (the hermit) Marbhan:
All that one could ask for comfort
Round me grows,
There are hips and haws and strawberries,
Nuts and sloes…
And when the summer spreads its mantle
What a sight!
Margoram and leeks and pig-nuts,
A clear well beside me offers
Best of drink …
The high ground indeed!