Field Roast Marketing Manager Jennifer Hryciw at the IACP Culinary Expo
On Friday, April 23rd, the IACP hosted the Culinary Expo and Book Signing at the Oregon Convention Center. I was there to help Jennifer and her helper, Mel, serve samples and talk to people about Field Roast. (I am writing a book with the owner, David lee.) If you don't know about Field Roast, here's a great article with a little video from the Seattle Times.
This was the first time Field Roast has exhibited at a non-vegetarian venue, and all of the food demos on the main stage were featuring beef, so we weren't sure what to expect. But I think that there was a good response! We certainly had lots of takers for the samples, and lots of surprised but pleased reactions.
I hope that our presence there went some way to showing omnivores that vegetarian meats (as David terms his products) can stand on their own as delicious protein foods, and not merely as "substitutes". David explains in the video mentioned above that "meat" originally meant "solid food". We call the edible part of nuts "nutmeat", after all. So, his product is "grain meat" or "vegetarian meat". He writes on his blog: "Our slogan written on every package using Chinese characters is "Flesh of the Earth" ." [Similarly, the Chinese call soy "the meat of the fields".]
We were handing out bumper stickers that read "Meat? Yes. Vegetarian? Yes.", and refrigerator magnets that read "Grain meat is not an oxymoron. It is, in fact, delicious." or "We are proof that vegetarians eat meat." He is adamant that his product is not "seitan", even though the main ingredient of both is gluten, the protein of wheat. And he's right, because "seitan", though used to refer to a number of gluten products, was originally a simple chunk of wheat gluten dough simmered in a broth of water and soy sauce, with perhaps some garlic or ginger. It isn't even a traditional Japanese product, but the invention of macrobiotic pioneers.
(A funny story-- a group of people came over for samples and one of them remarked to Jennifer that Field Roast must have a close relationship with the Washington State Beef Commission! She saw the "meat" word, but the "vegetarian" part didn't register! She was one of the representatives from the Oregon Beef Council, which sponsored the food demos! I am mortified to say that I had to exit the scene quickly before I heard Jennifer's answer, because I was about to burst out laughing! I'm sure Jennifer handled it with her usual aplomb!)
We were handing out samples of the elegant and delicious Stuffed Hazelnut Cranberry Roast en Croute (which is available now through retail outlets seasonally:
And all three yummy varieties of Field Roast sausages:
And two outstanding Food Service products which will be on the retail market in the near future, the unbelievably sumptuous Field Roast White Truffle Country Pâté:
and the very more-ish Field Roast Chao Cheese (their only soy product):
Yours Truly offering samples of the Pâté and Chao Cheese (Photo by Fran Costigan)
(For more information about these products, check out the Field Roast blog, or their products page (click on the link for each product for a link to a Product Sheet).
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to really look at the other booths or take more pictures!