Wednesday, June 8, 2011
It's official. I have heard it all now. VEGAN calamari. Even more perplexing is the fact that I just purchased it from Pangea, the Vegan Store. This is a gal who grew up hating the real thing. My grandmother made calamari (fried with marinara sauce to dip it in) but the chewiness of it made me gag. Sadly the fact that this was once a sea animal who was minding his/her own business having a happy life of his/her own in the ocean never dawned on me as a child. I only knew one thing--yuk! And yet here is the FAUX version waiting for me in my freezer. How did it get there?
Well, truth be told, I learned to like calamari later in life. Hubby and I were vacationing in Phuket, Thailand and at a buffet we dined at, a whole bowl of these strange looking "rings" intrigued me. Fast forward to life back in Virginia, when we discovered Maggiano's, a family style Italian restaurant whose fried calamari could rival my grandmother's. It is in fond memory of THAT dish that compelled me to buy this faux squid. I will try it some day...really...but only after I make my own homemade marinara sauce to accompany it. You know, in case it...well...blows (no offense, Sophie's Kitchen, but I have sampled many a faux meat that have not lived up to their promise!) Imitation calamari? REALLY?? Amazing. In any case, I will be sure to post here after I summon the nerve to try this interesting creation. I do hope in a way it resembles the real thing, as much as that idea may repulse many vegans. I heartily endorse any product that can satisfy the tastes of people who might otherwise not go vegetarian because they believe--erroneously, of course--that they must forever leave behind their favorite foods. I am sure that many vegan Italian-Americans like myself are thrilled at the prospect of vegan calamari. Let's hope Sophie's version lives up to our hopes. Stay tuned!