I was recently invited to a Fry Group Foods event hosted at Harvey’s Restaurant in Umhlanga.
Let me start off by saying I am not a vegetarian. No where near it.
I probably will never be a vegetarian, but over the last few years I have become increasingly aware of where my food comes from and how it gets on to my plate. Yes the whole organic, free range, “these little chickens run around all day smiling before we kill them” bandwagon, that every major retailer has jumped on.
So I went to the event with an open mind and was surprised – actually I was very pleasantly surprised.
Chef Andrew Draper of Harvey’s and Chef Nizam Peeroo – Group Executive chef from the Five Star Indigo hotels group in Mauritius – created an array of restaurant-style vegetarian dishes that actually tasted nothing like you would imagine a ‘vegetarian’ meal to taste – there wasn’t a veg platter of butternut and spinach in sight!
Instead we were served bite sized portions of an array of canapés all cooked with Fry’s products – there was a delicious Moroccan chicken-style burger, served on butternut puree with chermoula & spiced dukkah; spicy sausages with toasted cumin seeds and coriander; crispy meat-free prawns served in a thai curry sauce with sticky coconut rice; a spicy ‘beef’ wellington and a frothy, cappuccino-style spicy split pea soup served with a skewered sausage and more…
So why make vegetarian dishes that taste like meat?
Well, the Fry Group of Foods was established by the Fry’s Family in 1991 in South Africa as a way to develop protein alternatives for a vegetarian diet – a satisfying meal full of flavour, but without any meat.
21 years later and the company is still family run and the business is driven by a passion to create delicious and cruelty-free food, that has minimal impact on the environment. They operate with the ethos of principles over profits and export their products to over 23 countries around the world.
SO, whilst I can still say that I will probably never be a full vegetarian, I can safely say that I have already started integrating some of the Fry’s products into my diet (the crispy ‘prawns’ are insanely good!).
The products I’ve tried not only taste great, but if I’m going to do my bit for the environment, for the welfare of animals and if only initially on ‘meat-free Monday’s’, then the Fry’s products are a really good, tasty source of protein that leave you feeling satisfied after your meal.
Might take me a bit longer to convince my boyfriend, but I’m going to trick him one night – let’s see if he can tell the difference! ;)
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