Our Valued Destiny Comes To Nothing

At the Asian market on Route 27, I like to stock up on staples. This is accomplished by the peculiar process of walking slowly up and down the aisles playing a rousing game of Guess The Contents Of This Interesting Can! I’ve had some spectacular successes and failures. I define successes as those cans the contents of which I praise for their utter deliciousness. I define failure as anything I eat and try to chase down with Chlorox. So. What’s in this can, then?

I don’t know. But it’s tasty! It’s braised gluten, flavored to taste like favorite foods. The texture reminds me of boiled chicken. The curry’s okay but a little greasy and the sauce is curiously gritty. My assessment is much the same as this gentle reviewer’s.

I prefer the mock duck, and I am not alone in my enthusiasm for this product. A vegan internet grocery store called Food Fight! says:

Dude, you TOTALLY need a can of fake duck.

Dude! I’ve totally got three, but what I can’t find is nutrition facts for what’s in them. Yes, this the second or third time since we all got hardwired to the net that I’ve gone looking for gluten data. I mean, toast naan or pita, slather it with tamarind chutney and tear up some romaine, then slice pieces of fake duck on top and devour this delicious sandwich! But, and I have asked myself this question many times in a startling variety of exciting circumstances, what am I eating?

Does this contain protein? Is it an aid to digestion? Should I be pairing it with anything in particular to make it more nutritious, or should I avoid pairing it with things like eggplant that, while yummy, provide a glamorous diner with little in the way of substance? A gal needs to know! I can’t find anything, and too often, with vegetarians and vegetarian products, I have or hear this conversation:

Tata: Fantastic, what is it?
Vegan: It doesn’t have any animal products at all.
Tata: That’s great. They’re all out. What’s in?
Vegan: See right here, it’s made by a collective of formerly starving women and canned by deserving endangered species.
Tata: Awesome. I clap my cloven hooves for them. How do I add this to a sensible diet?
Vegan: Fry it, saute it, boil it, serve it raw.
Tata: I don’t mean to be testy but if I were trapped on a desert island with nothing but this product and an endless supply of zinfandel, what would kill me first?
Vegan: Well, obviously the sommelier. Geez! Zinfandel?

…so: vegetables, some other protein source like rice and beans, maybe some cheese. I’m not a vegetarian; I’d like to know if adding this to chicken stew, say, means I should eschew starches like dumplings. Is making a sandwich like breading my bread?

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