One expression I hear a lot is that vegan food tastes different. I am also asked frequently if vegan food tastes different. There is no easy answer to this question.
Many non-vegans eat vegan food every day and don’t think about it. Lots of ethnic food is vegan and vegetables are often cooked simply and without animal products. These foods will taste the same. Food that is made with substitutes will taste different.
Vegan meat and dairy substitutes are made to mimic the animal based products that are inspiring them. Some products get really close, like Beyond Meat products. Others only remind taste buds of the animal product.
Yes! Vegan food tastes different. It relies more heavily on the flavors of the vegetable ingredients and less on the fat from animal products. Vegan food also benefits from spices to help make the vegetable flavors stand out. This is okay and normal. The food should taste different because it is different, but it should still taste delicious. If it doesn’t taste good, try something else.
The Texture Is Different
Again, yes! Vegan substitutes can have a different texture from the product it intends to mimic. The flavor profile may remind taste buds of the mimicked animal product, but the texture could be different. As different ingredients are removed or changed, texture will change. For example, when removing oil from baked goods, they can have a more dense texture. However, the flavor can still be delicious. If you eat certain things for the texture, changing an ingredient can impact that. This is also true with changing sugars and flours.
Approach vegan eating with an open mind. I still find foods for which I don’t like the flavor and/or texture. Just look at my product reviews. It doesn’t mean I don’t thoroughly enjoy eating, because I totally do! I also enjoy trying new things. When I don’t like something I just don’t eat it again. This is especially true for vegan junk food. And, by the way, this is the same approach to eating that all people take.
Enjoy your journey! And eat your veggies.