I first heard about Field Roast about five years ago when a single Vancouver restaurant was bringing it in for their vegan clientele. At the time, the product wasn’t legal in Canada’s the restaurant would basically mule it over the border, taking great risks that resulted in long lines. A growing vegan market couldn’t wait to get their hands (or mouths) on the stuff.
Unlike a lot of vegan meat substitutes now on the market, Field Roast wasn’t created in a lab. Rather it’s made out of fairly simple to get, everyday ingredients, combined flavorfully and executed with skill.
In the foreword to Field Roast: 201 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share & Savor, company founder David Lee says that, 20 years ago, he was developing a vegan teriyaki wrap for a friend’s Seattle-based business:
I stumbled upon the concept that would later become Field Roast vegetarian grain meats….I was searching for a vegan protein food for a sandwich wrap that would provide satisfaction; tofus was too soft and the fake meat substitutes lacked honesty and were overly processed. Inspiration! Why not create an artisan-crafted, authentically flavored, real vegetarian meat — like an artisan loaf of bread, except for vegan meat?
The remarkable thing about the book is that Field Roast executive chef, Tommy McDonald not only illustrates how to use Field Roast in dozens of very good recipes, he actually shares how to make the stuff, right down to the Vital Wheat Gluten and cheesecloth.
If you are among those wanting to consume less meat — for whatever reason — Field Roast will be a good and interesting choice, especially if you’re looking for a strong contender to take the place of the turkey that used to anchor your holiday table. Field Roast is a worthwhile addition to the ever-increasing field of vegan cookbooks. ◊
Linda L. Richards is editor of January Magazine and the author of several books.