There is something new in the world of food: a Vegetarian Butcher!
A “butcher” who makes “vegetarian meat”? yes it is true! Products that give you a feeling of eating meat but are not derived from animals. The flavors are like meat, and using it in a dish it looks exactly like meat. De “Vegetarische Slager” in The Hague, the Netherlands IS the Vegetarian Butcher, and I wanted to visit this place for months, until I finally went this week! Besides that the Dutch government is located here, the work palace of our Queen Beatrix and the UN Tribunal/International Court of Justice, there is something else here that is worth visiting!
The shop looks like a fancy butcher shop. While the owner Jaap Korteweg (husband of Dutch political Party for the Animals “Partij voor de Dieren” founder Marianne Thieme) was not present, butcher Paul Bom was, and wore a typical butcher uniform. But… you won’t find any animal derived products, no nasty blood and dead corpse smell or anything else that vegetarians hate in this shop. It is a vegetarians heaven! Besides maybe the use of organic eggs and some milk that they use in their famous “gehaktballen”, most products are vegan though, made from a plant named “Lupin”.
I tried many different things, and bought a lot. Because it is 1.5. hours drive from my hometown in the Netherlands, I wanted to stock up on some things! Even though I know they have 200+ selling points in the Netherlands now, you can’t beat getting the products from the original place, with explanation from the person who made it all!
I got the bacon, the meat balls, the minced meat, the fake chicken….They also have “saucijzenbroodjes”, bread rolls with meat, but of course without meat. Also, besides fake meat,they sell things like sauces, juices, juicers (I love my new Versapers Juicer!) wines, teas, chocolates, nutritional powders, ready-to-go meals and more.
Because some products are so right on, they even have a campaign “Fool your partner once a week” (Bedrieg je partner 1 x in de week).
Food guru Mark Bittman visited De Vegetarische Slager and wrote an article on it for the New York Times. He was blown away by the flavors and possibilities! I guess he thought the USA is on the forefront when it comes to completely new food products, but I guess us Dutchies can do some great things too ;) Read the article in the New York Times HERE.
Some vegetarians say that you should not eat meat like products. Because you should not want to eat something that taste like meat. But some people who want to transfer from eating meat to not eating meat, will miss the texture or flavors. I think for those people this could be a great option, and it will maybe help more people to eat a more vegetarian diet. And it just gives more delicious options for cooking a pure vegetarian meal in my opinion! I know I love it!
I hope this concept can be brought to the USA, starting in NYC, maybe with some of my help. How cool would that be?
Watch De Vegetarische Slager promo video with a delicious fake chicken recipe!
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Physical addres: Spui167A (across from The Hague City Hall)
2511 BM The Hague, the Netherlands.
Phone: +31(0)70 3456764