A few years ago, during a frenzied Whole Foods shopping trip en-route to a cookout, I accidentally grabbed a block of vegan cheddar “cheese” instead of the plain old cows’ milk variety. I didn’t realize my mistake until later on when, after a good 15 minutes on the grill, the cheese still had not melted onto our veggie burgers, which were now burnt to a crisp. Needless to say, it was a total cookout fail, and I’ve been pretty skeptical when it comes to non-dairy cheeses ever since.
But it looks like my skepticism might soon be a thing of the past: A group of scientists is attempting to create Real Vegan Cheese (their term, not mine), by engineering a vegan version of the milk protein casein, and combining the protein with water, vegan sugar and oil to make a vegan milk of sorts. The vegan milk would go through the age-old cheese-making process, as cows’ milk does, to create vegan versions of your favorites, like emmentaler and parmesan, according to the project’s Indiegogo page. Lots of folks are into the idea, it seems: The project has already reached its $15,000 goal, with 21 days left.
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P.S. & Co. | Photo by Emily Teel
Last week, our pals at Foobooz posted their First Look review of the recently opened P.S. & Co. cafe near Rittenhouse Square, brainchild of Pure Sweets bakery owner Andrea Kyan. You should go read it to find out what our resident foodies have to say, but we wanted to make sure we brought to your attention a few of the cool happenings coming up at the organic, vegan, gluten-free cafe.
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On a hot and humid day like this one, when stepping outside feels more like stepping into a sauna, there is absolutely nothing better than a big, heaping scoop of fresh-from-the-freezer ice cream. But if you’re not down with dairy, finding a shop that offers a vegan cup of ice cream can be tough. Lucky for you, we’ve already done the legwork: We tracked down eight local shops that offer delicious vegan ice cream. Now, all you’ve got to do is brave the heat and head to one of these spots for a scoop.
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Tomorrow, Saturday, June 14th is Philadelphia’s first VegFest. The outdoor festival runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. under the shambles at Headhouse Square. The event features speakers, cooking demos and of course, lots of vegetarian food vendors.
Among the highlights, Vedge’s Rich Landau, freshly back from Paris will be showing off the plant-based cuisine that will be part of his new endeavor, V Street.
In addition to the food, speakers and cooking demos, the afternoon will also feature veg-friendly vendors and live music.
Philly VegFest [Official]
First off, let me say this: I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to portraying Philly as a mecca for twig-and-berry eaters.
Illustration by Kagan McLeod
Like just about every other food writer out there, I was won over the very first time I stepped into Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby’s Vedge in Midtown Village. After years of sharkishly eating my way through several major American cities as an itinerant restaurant critic, I’d formed some pretty strong opinions about the depth and limits of vegan cuisine, and all of them were burned away the minute I tasted Vedge’s sweet potato pâté.
This, I thought, is what every vegan restaurant in America should be aiming for. This is a cuisine to be proud of.
Immediately I began telling people about it. Loudly and repeatedly. I brought people to Vedge specifically so I could share the weird sideways joy of finding a groundbreaking and totally unexpected version of something you were pretty sure you were going to hate going in.
And it wasn’t just Vedge. It was the bloody beet steak at the Farm and Fisherman. It was the daily lines outside HipCityVeg, and the vegetarian prix fixe at Le Bec-Fin (which, as things turned out, didn’t go so well), and the sudden explosion of plants on so many menus around town. It was the fact that here, of all places, genius vegetable cookery had become the direct heir of the farm-to-table movement, offering the city’s best chefs a whole new range of flavors and textures to play with. After all, if the people of the city appeared willing to eat turnips and roasted brussels sprouts, someone had to charge them for it.
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Dear fellow Philly vegetarians, get ready to do a happy dance because the first ever Philly VegFest is just about one month away, and let me tell you, this festival is the stuff vegetarian food-dreams are made of.
The festival, hosted by The Humane League, will fill the Shambles, the open-air space at Second and Pine, with local vegetarian and vegan food galore, vegan-friendly shop vendors, cooking demos and more come June 14th. Eeeeee! (I am totally happy-dancing right now.)
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Korean tempeh tacos
Vance Lehmkuhl of Philly.com’s V for Vegan sits down with Vedge’s Rich Landau to discuss plans for Landau’s Rittenhouse bar, V Street. Landau lifted the curtain on the highly anticipated vegan bar a bit during the Rittenhouse Row Festival but Lehmkuhl gets a bit more out of him.
Most notably, Landau plans to continue to push vegan cuisine forward, not vegan-izing meat dishes but by producing edgy dishes that will appeal to a “food warrior.”
Landau’s V Street may alter space-time continuum [Philly.com]
Michael Klein has been given inside access to chronicle Nicole Marquis’s Charlie was a sinner. (yes, that’s the official capitalization and punctuation). In his most recent report, Klein has details on what will be on the menu created by the Mildred’s Mike Santoro. What Klein doesn’t have, despite several requests, is the final menu. Inside access doesn’t mean all access. But we all should know what is on the menu when Charlie was a sinner. opens in the next week or so.
The making of Charlie was a sinner.: Menu sampling [The Insider]
Yellow Juice Bar’s green juice || Photo via Instagram
When it comes to lunch during the week, I have two major problems: I’m a creature of habit, and I’m easily bored.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that those things don’t mix well, and it’s led to some shameful lunchtime catastrophes. I’ve gotten sick of my week’s worth of make-ahead lunches after two days, went to the same falafel place four days in a row, and during one especially weird stretch in February, I ate hummus and Wheat Thins at my desk for a week straight.
Of course, I’d love to spend 45 minutes scrolling through Yelp in search of the perfect healthy lunch spot, but honestly, who has time for that? No one, that’s who.
So let me present to you the answer to all of your lunch-related woes: VegPhilly. It’s been around for about a year now, but I just found it last week. And I’m obsessed.
Here’s how it works.
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Cheesecake at Vedge // Photo via Facebook
Be Well Philly launches new “The Best Thing I Ever Ate” feature. And for the first edition, they’re asking Philadelphia vegans what their favorite vegan dishes in Philadelphia are.
Check it out.
The Best Thing I Ever Ate in Philly: Vegan Edition [Be Well Philly]