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Why meat substitutes?
In the context of veggie nutrition, the question regularly arises – often quite provocatively – why vegetarians buy meat substitutes. That's easy to answer: Many people who decide to reduce or avoid meat do not do so because they don't like meat. Where animal welfare or sustainability is paramount, substitute products can help to ensure a smooth (and tasty) transition.

In fact, the taste experience with meat depends primarily on the preparation method, texture and spices. Meat substitutes such as vegetarian bratwurst, schnitzel, nuggets or burgers come so close that many meat eaters would hardly notice the difference in a blind tasting. Just try it out at the next barbecue party.

What meat alternatives are there?
There are traditional plant-based products, especially from the Asian cuisine, which are used as completely independent dishes. These exotic foods (also refined in a non-Asian way, for example Mediterranean with olives or tomatoes) are an enrichment for cuisine with little or no meat.

Tofu: To put it simply, this is an often sliceable quark made from soy milk. The product originally from China is tasteless. Marinades and preparation turn it into a versatile delicacy.
Tempeh: This soy specialty comes from Indonesia, is made from fermented, cooked soybeans and is usually marinated and fried. The taste is nutty-mushroom.
Seitan: This is a Japanese-origin product made from wheat protein. The starch is washed out of grain flour in a complex process, and marinades provide the taste.
Attention: Seitan is not suitable as a meat substitute for people with celiac disease!

In addition, a large number of other starting products with corresponding recipes can be used to replace meat. Soy shreds are popular. Such freeze-dried flakes are soaked in vegetable broth, for example, and can then be used instead of minced meat or chopped meat.