Life Imitates Meat. The second article in an in-depth series that looks at the fascinating world of meat, created in it's own image.
Part Two: "Bake" - High Foods
I can't help but to compare and contrast "Bake" with the first not-product review of the series Squid Chews. Both are chewy and cardboard-y meat-snack substitutes. Both have after-tastes of diet coke mixed with drain cleaner, and both leave you with a sense of disbelief that such a product could make it to market.
"Bake" however, really takes the concept of chewy fake meat products to a whole new level. It is a product in itself that refuses to tip its hat to any animal product before it. It carries a meat free moniker and makes no claim to be squid, pork, elephant, or "other" - In its own words it is simply a "series food for leisure time".
The ingredients list for "Bake" certainly did look promising: Soya glair meat, sugar, salt, Monosodium glutamate, expanded powder, spice.
Wow! Soya glair meat, MSG and expanded powder... in one product! Who would have thought to combine them?! "Soya glair meat" is a fake meat term I was unfamiliar with and assumed it to be a translation error. But I looked up "glair" which apparently means "A viscous substance resembling egg white" or "A sizing or glaze made of egg white". Both seem plausible.
It was also good to see a product un-afraid to use MSG, which saves me from having to dip everything in my own stash.
The first thing you will notice about "Bake" is its unusual consistency. It is very dry, and crackles in your mouth like that exploding candy you used to get. I can only assume that this is the "expanded powder" element of the mixture.
The overall experience is similar to Squid Chews, but drier, chewier and more bland - with a kick of chilli that lends it that particularly gruesome after-taste.
"Bake" has been "especially developed by a team of food specialists" and carries this stirring poem, that helps you forget you are gnawing on expanded powder and sugar:
May the breeze bring you The tenderness and warmth from me Far from each other we may be. Yet still you are here, At the bottom of my heat.
Taste : -6- A nice chilli element really redeems this product, and lifts the taste score up a few points.
Texture : -7- It has taken chewy-ness to ludicrous levels, then pulled back juuust a smidgen.
Similarity to the original : -10- Its shinning point - It IS the original. Doesn't try to imitate any of god's inferior creatures.
Although not very tasty, and a little bit disturbing, "Bake" manages to score 7.5/10 on the TVP-o-Meter for originality, MSG and effort. I personally won't be trying it again, but that is only because I don't know where it came from. It was just in the cupboard.
I love the unselfconscious nature of this “snack-food”. I am what I am what I am…whatever I am is.
I wonder if ‘bake’ is a companion food to anything? Besides poetry I mean.