Mr. Blandypants or “Why I cannot be trusted”

90% of the time we’re adapting an omni dish to a vegan one, I cannot be trusted. Remember this.

Before going vegan I was World’s Pickiest Eater aka Mr. Blandypants. Seriously. My pre-vegetarian self, at the ripe adult age of 20, subsisted largely on children’s cereal, cheese pizza, Wal-Mart hamburgers, fried eggs, and generic Hamburger Helper. It pains me deeply to reflect on this. It astounds me deeply what the college stomach will accept as food.

When I went vegetarian before my senior year of college, I swapped out Morning Star Farms Grillers ™ for the burgers and veggie crumbles for the grade F meat I was using in the Hamburger Helper. Business as usual.

Around the time I went vegan a year and a half later, my excellent friends Nick and Kathy took me to eat at an Indian restaurant, miles–nay, leagues–outside of my gustatory comfort zone. I ate my Chana Masala in a sort of confused delight; with each bite I struggled to determine whether what I was eating was good.

Indian food turned out to be a gateway drug to all sorts of international delights–and I don’t mean those creamers you put in your coffee (Jean Luc!): Mexican, Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Korean, Japanese…even untold varieties of American cuisine. Over the years, with Herculean efforts on Amy’s part, I have been transformed from the monstrous Mr. Blandypants into the infinitely more agreeable Dr. Savorypants.

With all of this in mind, you have probably reached this conclusion: The vast majority of foods I’ve eaten (in terms of variety) have been vegan. I’ve never had gumbo, an Egg McMuffin ™, Chicken Al Fredo, or quiche. As such, we can generally offer you a stamp of “tastes good” but not always “tastes like“. Please excuse kind sirs, madams, and others.

Your Friend,

Dr. Savorypants, Esquire


#1 N.I.K. on 03.25.10 at 1:04 am

Don’t flagellate yourself so damned hard. Many of the entries centered around cooking vegan versions of traditionally non-vegan dishes actually explore the basis of the real thing. It’s not like Burger King serving up a “taco” – there’s clear thought in the substitutions.

And sure, there can’t be perfect analogues, but we’re already talking about interpretation. Even in the omnivorous world, good cooking is mostly about interpretation and variation on central ideas. People who refuse want to acknowledge this are encouraged to forage for rain-softened stray bits of tree bark and/or the grubs found thereunder.

#2 Zoa on 03.28.10 at 10:43 am

…and that’s exactly what we want, Mr. Savorypants: tastes *good* but not tastes *like*. So keep up the great work!

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