Kochfreunde.com is the culinary magazine of Oliver Wagner. Here, everything revolves around the almost most beautiful thing in the world: good food. The focus ranges from reports on exciting restaurants to recipes from his own kitchen, cookbooks and culinary gadgets.


Kochfreunde.com ist das kulinarisches Magazin von Oliver Wagner. Hier dreht sich alles rund um die beinahe schönste Sache der Welt: Gutes Essen. Dabei reicht der Fokus von Berichten über spannende Restaurants bis hin zu Rezepten aus der eigenen Küche, Kochbücher und kulinarische Gadgets.

Vegetarian dinner

Sometimes I would love to observe how the evening meal is celebrated in other people’s homes. Or rather, whether it is celebrated at all. Because actually this traditional meal has lost quite a bit of ground in the German-speaking world for quite some time. Instead, we also have the warm main meal towards the end of the day, displacing the classic vespers. It’s no different at my house, most of the time we cook in the evening, sometimes more and sometimes less elaborate.

Every now and then, however, nothing beats a hearty snack with selected good products. Butter, a good cheese, some pickled or fresh vegetables – and of course sausage and ham. Whereas the latter is out of the question if you have vegetarian friends as guests. This may raise the question of an alternative. In the meantime, I am also almost undogmatic about the question of whether it makes sense to resort to substitute products in a vegetarian or vegan diet. Everyone may decide for themselves and their palate as they wish.

But that there is a demand for vegetarian sausages is shown not least by The Herbivorous Butcher, the first vegan butcher in the U.S., which started operations a few weeks ago after a successful Kickstarter campaign and now offers Meat free Meats.

It fits in very well with this trend of not wanting to completely forgo the taste of sausage despite completely or partially doing without meat products that Rügenwalder Mühle has also been offering some of its products in a meat-free variant since December 2014. The vegetarian or meat-farmer can choose between a ham pickle as mortadella, with chives or colorful peppers, and vegetarian meatballs with colorful peppers are also offered.

The main ingredients of the meat-free products are high-quality proteins (egg or egg white) and canola oil. In the vegetarian meatballs, additional soy and colorful peppers provide the appropriate texture.

For our vegetarian dinner, I combined the vegetarian sausages with breads from our favorite baker Wiedenroth here in Ottensen. Drizzled with a little olive oil and grilled briefly and hot. Served with French butter with sea salt, various vegetables and two kinds of pickled cucumbers. I also quickly sautéed a handful of mushrooms with some onions and a chopped dried apricot. For another loaf, I layered buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, topped with some pesto and lots of flur de sel. It doesn’t really take much more than that for happiness, perhaps a glass of wine (which in this case is also a suitably vegan Riesling from the Mosel).

But the real question is, of course, how do vegetarian sausages taste? And the answer is indeed surprising. They taste. Even almost the same as the original, produced from meat ham pickerel. But of course, Rügenwalder can access the exact same components and spices to achieve just this taste. Still amazing. However, one very striking difference can be seen in the texture. The vegetarian version is much softer and has little in common even with the denatured meat content of real mortadella. But that would perhaps be asking too much. However, when combined with crusty, fresh bread and crunchy vegetables, the texture of the sausage lags so far behind anyway that you don’t notice any difference.

Kevin Fehling: Prodigy

Kevin Fehling: Prodigy

Neolocal, Istanbul

Neolocal, Istanbul

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