Let me start by saying Thank You to everyone who has visited and posted on my site. The Virtual Vegan Potluck was a huge success and a ton of fun to boot, and I am so glad to have new followers. I know I found a lot of new sites to check out and I will be spending the next few weeks pinning and trying new recipes. Honestly I wish there was a way we could do the potluck for real. There are so many people I would love to meet in person just based on comments through the blogs. I think everyone would be in a food coma by the end of the day, but it would be worth it!
Now, on to my review. I hope I don’t alienate anyone by choosing something that right now can only be bought in Denver, but for those of you who do live here I just have to get the word out.
We all know and love seitan, right? Either in its store-bought form (which I don’t find nearly as offensive as some people) or our own homemade loaves, it is the staple of the vegan diet. When you just gotta have something that resembles a meaty texture and tofu just won’t do we turn to seitan. Well Denver now has the option of buying what I consider ‘gourmet’ seitan courtesy of The Denver Seitan Company.
I read about them in the Best of Denver awards in the Westword. I had no idea there was a local company making and selling seitan and the review was glowing so I knew I had to get some. Unfortunately, they do not have a storefront so you have to email your order to them, and then meet one of the three mysterious proprietors to exchange money for seitan. It sounds a bit black-market, I know but really, there’s nothing to worry about. I ordered a log of chickenseque and a log of sureizo. I already knew what I was going to do with them.
The sureizo was destined for a brunch tofu scramble. I unwrapped the log and immediately the spices wafted into my nostrils, a good sign that the flavor was going to be great. What I really loved about this log was that it crumbled nicely, just the way a meat-based chorizo would. While I was mixing it with the tofu Robert picked a piece out and tried it. He still has trouble liking seitan in general so I thought he would appreciate the flavors of chorizo as he loves Mexican food. He just said “Well, it isn’t horrible,” which in Robert-speak means he’d rather be eating meat, but will make do with what I serve. Really, it’s all I can hope for. Once I got some Daiya cheese stirred in and he had a bloody mary in his hand, we had a lovely brunch that took me back to the days of eating greasy chorizo and scrambled eggs. Only this was better. Not greasy, no animals harmed, and delicious, thanks to the spot-on seasoning in the seitan. I honestly think you could fool a meat-eater if you subbed this for chorizo. It had just a little kick from the peppers (3 different kinds are used, according to the DSC website) and a healthy dose of garlic. I got 2 brunches out of one log and it stayed fresh in my fridge for almost a month.
The chicken log became Tandoori seitan. I used a simple recipe from The Part-Time Vegan to make a marinade. The chicken log was much denser than the sureizo; hearty, but not rubbery. Some people really get turned off by the texture of seitan but this is by far the best when it comes to replicating meat texture. The chicken seasoning was very savory and it absorbed the marinade nicely while still retaining a chicken-y flavor. Robert liked it, though he wanted thinner slices, so in the future I’ll probably keep the slices to ½ inch or less.
Denver Seitan is constantly experimenting with new flavors; in addition to the chicken and chorizo flavors they offer a corned beef and Sicilian flavor. Their website says they are developing a pastrami flavor and deli turkey flavor-both sound so good! I know that it’s cheaper in the long run to make your own seitan, but I don’t think I could ever replicate the flavors the way Denver Seitan does. And the price is actually pretty reasonable; I got 2 logs for $13 and ended up with 3 meals, plus leftovers. I sincerely hope they become popular enough to open a store soon, but until then, I’ll continue the clandestine pickups. Good seitan is worth looking like a mobster 🙂