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wtf wednesday: vegan caviar

Thanks to Erika of The Cosmopolitan Hour for mentioning this on Facebook or Twitter or whatever it was, because it stuck in my head and popped out when I was shopping for some domestics: Ikea carries vegan caviar. It’s in the refrigerator section of their little food market, stuck in the middle of the fishy kind. How was I not going to buy it?! It was screaming WTF Wednesday! Clearly a product that did not need to be made. I highly doubt any vegan out there has ever said, “Sure, giving up cheese was easy, but I sooo miss my caviar.”

I checked the ingredients. It’s seaweed extract, salt, blah, blah, xantham gum, and vegetable carbon (coloring). I can do this.

I did some caviar research, ’cause I don’t know from fish eggs, and apparently it is best served on some lightly buttered, lightly toasted bread. Any talk of creamy accompaniments only clue your guests in to the inferior quality of your roe. So toast and seaweed and salt—I can do this.

And then I opened the jar.

OK, that’s creepy. I made sure I had Tom on board for this one—he’s actually eaten fishy caviar in sushi, back in his omni days. If I ended up spitting it out, he could follow through for sure.

Here’s the assembly. Increasingly creepy the closer it gets to taste time. But shock and amazement and all things crazy, it wasn’t bad. It wasn’t great, either, but I got through it and tasted some more on its own to get a full grasp on what I was tasting. The texture is like wet poppy seeds, and it’s just super salty with some tang to it. Tom described it as “salty pickle rye.”

Will I buy it again? We actually talked about using it in sushi. Our normal sushi is the garden-variety vegetable sushi (although Tom has made his ridiculous deli roll). With the fakey shrimp or crab meat we could make some novelty fakey fishy sushi.

But to those real caviar-eaters out there, I still don’t get you. They’re friggin’ fish eggs.


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7 thoughts on “wtf wednesday: vegan caviar

  1. Very cool! One of the European Vegan MoFoers mentioned vegan caviar but I thought it would be really tough to come by outsie of Europe. Nice to know it’s available at IKEA. I know that regular caviar is often served with cream cheese so it might be nice to put a layer of Toffuti cream cheese between the bread + caviar? Anyway, thanks for this, I’ll keep an eye out for it!

  2. I saw a recipe on a blog for making vegan caviar but it creeped me out so much I can’t remember where I saw it or how to do it. I never got the point of eating actual fish eggs either so wasn’t too keen on making them. Seaweed topping sounds better than fish eggs, but it doesn’t look better!

  3. Weird that it suddenly gets around. I first ate vegan caviar about a decade ago (it actually comes in 2-3 different types of “roe”), but only a few days ago I found out it’s sold in Ikea (1/3 of the price it goes for at Finnish health stores!) tweeted it and it turned out most people had never heard about it…

  4. I agree !!! Why must we eat fish eggs?? I tried it once and only once. I guess I am not really sophisticated because I thought it was an explosion of nasty in my mouth.

  5. Pingback: Things I Learned This Month | vegangela

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