Archive for May, 2011

Vegan/Vegetarian slice-able salami from Topas.

This sausage (approx. 10 cm long) cost roughly $4 and was bought at a speciality food store in Stockholm. I’ve been a vegetarian for 1 ½ years, and avoided eating fake sandwich meat both due to the weird taste and to a stomach bug that occurred after first tasting them.

The main ingredient in this salami is wheat protein. The consistency is a lot a like real sandwich meat. It doesn’t taste significantly different from the slices of other fake sausages I’ve tasted before; like most of them, I think the manufacturers are way to liberal with the paprika. The paprika adds a nice colour to the sausage, and since most of the vegan/vegetarian brands promotes themselves as being organic and not using any artificial colours I can see why they choose it. Original salami and sausages in general doesn’t have any paprika flavour, and you wouldn’t be able to trick someone into believing they were eating real meat if you gave them this product.

I personally didn’t like the taste, but if you like the other fake sausage products you will probably enjoy this too. If any manufacturers are reading this, I urge you to stop using paprika and study the ordinary ingredients in salami more thoroughly. Like in my last food review, I think the product would be much better if they spent more time finding the right spices instead of making it look good.

Come back later to read my review about the snack sausage. Other things on my list for reviewing is vegetarian/vegan Chow Mein, chili snack sausage and beef jerky.

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Last Saturday I went on a mission to buy a lot of vegetarian fake meat-products that I hadn’t tried before. I’ve written about the vegetarian salmon and shrimps before, this time I’m going to start with the cevapcici. Cevapcici is a Bosnian dish made of minced meat rolled into tiny sausages. It shouldn’t be too difficult to replicate as  a vegetarian option, since there are a several good alternatives to minced meat to use as a base.

I bought a package of read-made Cevapcici from a store called Good Store in Stockholm. The brand is, as you can see, called Viana. Sorry for the blurry photo, I had to use my cellphone’s camera.

^ and this is what they looked like once I’ve fried them. I served them with some sallad, potatoes and a tomato-chick pea sauce.

The verdict: While they looked very tasty, I found that they didn’t taste much like cevapcici at all. Quorn, tofu and soy were all listed as ingredients, which I think was too much and made the pieces to dry. The packaging said that they would be hot, but I digress. I couldn’t taste any of the spices that you normally use on cevapcici. They weren’t all bad either, because they went very well with the sauce and the consistency was nice. On the backside of the package there is some serving ideas, one of which is serving it as a cocktail dish. I would recommend against it, because they’re too dry and need sauce to be appreciated. I think the manufacturers definitely spent most of their time perfecting the looks rather than replicating the taste of the original dish, which is something I’ve felt about their other dishes as well. A lot of the fake meat-products taste the same, but look impressively similar to whatever meat they’re replicating. I will try to make my own vegetarian cevapcici to see if I can do better than them.

Coming up next is reviews of vegetarian salami and a snack sausage.

Last Saturday the annual Student Orchestra Festival paraded through Linköping. This years theme was “British/The UK”, and while I’m not sure if all the costume was strictly British, they were pretty funny to watch.

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Like a lot of people, I have several times mocked Harold Camping and all those who believed that the Rapture would come yesterday. Still, I have a creeping feeling that Camping might be smarter and less crazy and more evil than people give him credit for. He has made fortunes from his predictions. Considering that he has changed the date of Jesus’ return several times already, I think it’s only a matter of time before he comes up with some bullshit theory on why it’s actually 3 years into the future and tries to invoke hysteria again. The saddest thing about this is that he probably knowingly made money out of convincing parents to tell their children that yesterday was the day they were going to die. I think the joke is probably on us. This is a good article about who Harold Camping is and why he sucks.

Hello world, how I miss you.

I’m writing this from my laptop on a word document. If I’m right, it will be posted by Tuesday evening.  My train left 9:15 am this morning (Sunday) to Stockholm, where I took the subway to a bus that took me to a small town called Norrtälje. Norrtälje handicap center is where I will do an internship the upcoming two and a half weeks. I don’t know anybody here except my classmate who is doing the internship with me. She was the one who managed to get us two apartments to live in during our stay here, and I’m grateful for that, but she forgot to mention that we had to bring our own kitchen supplies… until we actually were on the train. Once we arrived, I bought a pot, a cup, 2 forks and 2 knives, which should be enough for me to be able to sustain myself until the weekend. I ate really healthy last week (pretty much only vegan health stuff) but I fear this week will cancel out whatever health 1-ups that I gained. Since I had to buy some kitchen ware I couldn’t afford much to eat (and it would be difficult to cook anyway since I only have one pot) so it’s tortellini and noodles until Friday. I can deal with that though. The thing which is making me question my sanity today is a sudden onset of Internet separation anxiety disorder.

This apartment doesn’t have any Internet. It shouldn’t be so bad because a) It hasn’t even been 24 hours since I browsed the world wide web, b) I can probably check my email tomorrow at work, c) my dad will send me a mobile Internet stick which will probably arrive on Tuesday. Even so, here I am pretending I’m writing on my blog and every 5th minute clicking on the firefoxbrowser absent-mindedly, forgetting that Internet no longer hides behind the icon’s warm, orange tail.

Norrtälje is strangely quiet. My apartment is on their campus, which looks a lot like a boarding school. There’s a very few people about, and unlike Stockholm and Linköping you can’t hear the sound of passing traffic in the background. Because I’m used to living with either a family or my roommate, and never by myself, I’m not accustomed to having a silent apartment either.  There’s no TV that I can turn on to hear some voices. There are just some birds chirping and the fan over the stove. Creepy.

Monday: I didn’t have time to use the Internet at work today. Too much new stuff to take in. Internet hasn’t arrived yet, so I’ve entertained myself by watching an episode of Criminal Minds and the pilot of Games of Thrones (I’m reading the book as well). The campus is still very quiet and I find it difficult to imagine people going to classes here every day.

Tuesday: Still no Internet, I’m worried it might have been lost in the mail. Here’s a funny thing: My mentor at the internship was talking about a method for stimulating the facial and oral muscles for therapeutic purposes. It’s done by using a pen sized thing that has a vibrating top, like an electric toothbrush. My mentor called these things… massage vibrators. A massage vibrator is a fancy name for dildo in my ears. She kept saying stuff like “We’ll issue out one massage vibrator to the mom so she can use it for stimulating her daughter” when referring to a training program for a toddler girl with CP. I cringed on the inside. I know that she probably documented them as “massage vibrator” when writing in her patient file. It seems like by some miracle she has never heard dildoes called “massage vibrators” before. D: When I had to mention these things out loud, I called them “massage pens”, which she seems to have thought was a better term for them, so I hope it’ll catch on.

Wednesday: Fuck. Still no Internet. Good thing I’ve gathered a lot of movies on my computer to watch. We helped lead a group for teaching signing to parents and grandparents of children with mental handicaps today. It was fun, apparently the sign for “baby bottle” is dangerously close to the sign for “sucking cock”… the more you know!

Thursday, 8 pm:

Captain’s log. Internet got lost in the mail. 5 days have gone since I was last able to browse the vast landscapes of the cybernet and I have sustained on whatever tiny crumble of connection I’ve been able to find; A quick email and facebook check from work and a 5 minute connection on my cellphone (that surely cost me more than all my calls and texts this month).  It was just enough time for me to untag myself from an unflattering photo of a drunk me that somebody uploaded. I’ve almost finished the Games of Thrones book, whoopee. It’s a good book but it takes energy to read. I’m visiting my parents in Stockholm during the weekend (yay, civilization) and will use the chance to restock my computer with new movies for next week (‘cause I’ll probably won’t have Internet by then either… damn).

Saturday: INTERNEEEEET. I’m at my mom over the weekend and borrowing her internet to get my hands on things to entertain myself next week, which I also fear will be internet-less.

Some people can’t stand to hear people pop their joints. I grew with a lot of guy friends, and burping contests and joints popping contests was something quite normal, so I’ve never been bothered by popping my joints in public. Sometimes when I twist my body I can hear maybe 10 separate loud pops from my spine. I have an issue with my jaw that makes it go “POP KNACK” when I yawn or push it with my knuckles. I watched this video recently and thought of all those people who freak out when you stretch your neck. I think I have to show it to them.

My university has a noticeboard where students post ads if they want to buy or sell something. Before all the college parties, the board goes wild with people who wants to get a ticket to the party. If you stand in line to buy a party ticket, they cost around $12 but if it’s a popular party you’ve got to cue for like 4 hours or an entire night to make sure you get one. The longest I cued was 10 hours, and I had a class afterwards. Anyhow, tonight the notice board is overflowing with ads from people competing for tickets. It’s actually pretty fun. Some girls started posting ads like “Two really hot girls looking for some extra tickets!”, which made other student follow suit and post stuff like “Two hideous guys looking for tickets”, “Three completely normal massmurdering Fritzl-wannabes looking for tickets”, “It’s my birthday, PLEASE sell me a ticket”, “I lost my ticket while drunk and threw a potato at my friend’s ballsack, need a new ticket”. One guy is offering 400% the original price, which is just fucked up. A ticket just covers the entrance fee to the party area, and while I love our student parties it’s never worth paying 50$ for just getting in! WTH man.