Friday, August 29, 2008

Ode To Embryo

by Dimples Doublefist


Every vegan tells the same tired story: "the hardest part was giving up cheese." Then they'll go on and on about all of their little indiscretions, their fucks ups that ultimately led to the path of righteousness. Some will tell you how such-and-such vegan cheese is really "not that bad," and you'll know they are lying because ALL vegan cheeses are disgusting except for Dr. Cow's Tree Nut Cheese (but that's only for the rich and fabulous in NYC and Washington, DC, apparently). Anyway, you get the point: vegans remember cheese as some sort of totally affordable Oxycontin--nothing like a slice of Velveeta to make the pain go away or a wedge of brie to make you feel loved--whose high never fades away.

All I have to say is: fuck cheese. I loved eggs.

I already know what you are thinking: ewwww, eggs are gross, slimy, fetus-secretion-slime-balls, OMG. But I loved them. I ate heuvos rancheros like I was on death row and it was my last meal, as often as I could. I liked 'em poached, fried, scrambled, deviled or sunny-side up. I never met an egg I didn't like. It was harder to give up eggs than it was my totally gluttonous collection of leather shoes.

Unfortunately, most tofu scramble sucks. There are many mistakes to be made: the tofu is too soft or the water is not properly drained; the cook is talentless and the wrong spices are used or the ratios are off; usually, it's D) all of the above.

I can happily report that there is a tofu scrambles that is actually un-fucking-believable. It's the recipe in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's instant-classic Vegan with a Vengeance. Her recipe is amazing for several reasons: 1. she goes into great detail about how to get the texture right (large, well drained chunks) 2. she gets the spices right--garlic, turmeric, nutritional yeast and fresh lemon juice and 3. she adds the right combination of vegetables, which is always red peppers, garlic, onions and lots of mushrooms. The final result is outstanding. I haven't tasted a finer tofu scramble.

But there's nothing like a supple tofu rancheros, which no one seems to be able to make with any proficiency. However, the Twin Sisters Cafe in San Antonio, Texas makes a pretty fucking great one: the salsa is hot as shit, the tofu scramble is not earth shattering, but it's good, there is a homemade tortilla and delicious black beans that are rich and garlicky. But when it all comes together, the result is fabulous. I could eat this shit every single day. I'd die happy if I dropped over with garlic breath and few black beans wedged between my teeth. Buenos Dias!

I still miss eggs when I forget about the egg industry for a split second--or I happen to lose sight of the fact that no animal was put on this earth to be dominated and commodified to death. Those are big words, yes, but they point to a simple truth: I don't know what the fuck this life is about, but egg salad will never point toward Higher Truth. At least I know that much.

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