As I was munching on one of my stocking stuffers (chocolate coffered espresso beans), I realized that chocolate would be one the fruits forbidden to me during my vegan adventure. Sure, there was carob, a chocolate substitute, but what could really replace the smooth, creamy deliciousness of a Hershey’s kiss or Swiss Milk Hot Chocolate (which I’d had last night)? Carob? Seriously? No.
Updated note: I have since realized that chocolate is actually vegan. “Cocoa butter” is not the same thing as “butter.” Thank the sweet baby Jesus.
Vegans talk with all seriousness about how these substitutes actually can be as good as real thing. In all fairness, I have to disagree. Tofurky for example. A substance of questionable texture to say the least. “Tofu is as good as chicken!” some say. Um, no. It really isn’t. As my Dad says, “They wouldn’t advertise that it tasted like meat unless the meat tasted better in the first place!”
He’s got a point. While some substitutes work well, some are just dreadful. Like soy cheese. Have you ever had soycheese? In a former quest for edible alternatives, I made the error of actually trying it and am still fighting nausea from the memory. (“Daiya” is a new and notable suggestion. Although it’s essentially congealed oil, it’s delicious cheddar flavored congealed oil.) Veggie dogs, however, might be on par with the real thing. I think that is because regular hotdogs aren’t made of real meat to begin with.
So now the question for these final few days: Did I wean myself gradually off of these delights by taking them out of my diet now, or do I gorge on them and hope that the sickness I feel after puts me off them long enough to make the transition easy?
I know what the mature response to this is. We all know what the “right” answer should be.
I grabbed another handful of chocolate covered espresso beans.