Vegan Charcuterie

Tasty Exercises in Vegetable Torture

Onion Confit

If you have alliumphobia or just “don’t like onions” you best turn-away now, because there’s nothing but pure onion flavor ahead! Or, if you fall into the latter camp, keep reading and you may recover slightly from your taste-threatening condition.

Ah, The Humble Onion, Je t’adore. So much has been said, and I won’t try to say it all again. But, if you are a lover of onions, you shouldn’t go another day without making your own onion confit. Confit is a fancy French word that means preserved. To my culinary mind, “preserved” usually means flavor. Whether it’s spices added to conceal the “off” flavors of preservation, or those abnormal flavors themselves, preserved foods often have more intensity than their fresh counterparts—think cucumbers and cucumber pickles for instance. However, this is not always the case, for while most people would find an entire fresh onion to be too strong to be palatable, caramelize that bad-boy and it’s a different story—this stuff is flavorful alright, but it’s the definition of mellow.

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Panch Puran Kabocha Sausage

Panch Puran Kabocha Sauasge

I was recently reading an old forum discussion about these ubiquitous steamed seitan sausages (the origin of which is unclear to me), and various posters were chiming-in about their fennel seed preferences. I’m firmly in the pro-fennel-seed-in-sausage camp and indeed the flavor of fennel seed is most strongly associated in my memories with italtian sausage, but the discussion got me to thinking about other fennel seed flavor combinations. My mind immediately went to the Indian subcontinent (as it usually does), and perhaps the second thing I associate with fennel seed is panch puran, a spice mixture which is the foundation of many Bangaladeshi curries and pickles.

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