Turns out that Impossible Burger does, in fact, use enough methylcellulose to give me a bad time.
I finally had Impossible Burger alt-meat in a burger tonight. My impressions of it:
- The raw “meat” has a weird uncanny-valley look to it, and also a rather… smell. A bit offputting, but only in comparison to beef.
- When cooked up, it does look just like beef, but it tastes and smells of, well, pretty much nothing.
- The mouthfeel is just like beef. Really good texture on it.
This isn’t the first time I’ve eaten Impossible Burger itself; I first tried it when Poquitos had it in taco form, back when it was still a brand-new “coming soon” thing that was only available to restaurants. Back then I felt like the flavor was really good (although being in tacos it was so heavily-spiced that it’s more that it didn’t have a flavor that overpowered the cumin and chili and so on), and I felt like the mouthfeel was a bit mushy.
There’s still a lot of MSG discourse happening in certain pockets of the Internet; right now it’s mostly on food YouTube, where folks are primarily saying that people who claim an MSG sensitivity are racist and/or relying on bad pseudoscience. And, as usual, using the same two strawmen of
- Lots of foods have glutamate in it
- Did you know that American junk food has MSG in it too?
For 1, yes, lots of foods have glutamate in it, but not bound to sodium.
For 2, yes, that’s why it was eating junk food in college (Doritos and the chili-flavored Fritos, specifically) that led me to realize what was causing my near-daily sensory overload migraines.
Anyway, recently I bought some “country style” bulk sausage at a local butcher which ended up having MSG in it, and rather than throw it out or try to return it, I figured I’d use it to perform an (admittedly extremely unscientific) experiment. Namely, a couple days ago I fried up a small amount and ate it, and while I felt a bit of the classic MSG effects it seemed like it might have been psychosomatic. So today I made a full patty of it and ate it for breakfast… and holy hell that was a bad time. I’m still recovering from it a couple hours later.
So, yeah, I’m still pretty sure MSG causes me problems, and I’m still gonna keep avoiding it.
The box o' meat progresses nicely.
Since the last update I’ve completed all of the meats that were underway, and have finished 1 of the pounds of ground beef (which made very good burgers) and the chili relleno pork sausage. So what remains:
- 1 pound ground beef
- venison hot dogs
- 1.25 pounds of flank steak
So, this turned out to not be an entirely excessive amount of meat. And Crowd Cow does seem to be a pretty good deal in general.
A coworker asked how far along I am in my big box of meat, and so now my brain is distracted with taking an inventory.
- 1 pound ground turkey (used in the meatloaf)
- 2x lemon-pesto salmon fillets (prepared as provided)
- Wild boar hot dogs (2 of 7 consumed)
- Five-pepper sausage (1 of 4 consumed)
- Dill smoked salmon (halfway consumed)
- Tenderloin tips and tails (thawing to make mushroom beef stew)
Not yet started:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- Chili relleno pork sausge
- Venison hot dogs
- 1.25 pounds of flank steak
Oh yeah it all fit in my freezer without a problem. Also dry ice carbonation is scary, so I’m just gonna stick to my sodastream for that.
So far the only thing I’ve cooked from the box is a salmon portion, which turns out to be something that they carry at QFC for the exact same price, so, gonna skip that on future boxes (if any).
For Thanksgiving I’m probably going to make ground turkey and kale meatloaf wrapped in prosciutto. (The prosciutto came from QFC, full disclosure. And the ground turkey was just a thing I added to the box to push it over the free shipping threshold, although it was cheaper to get it that way than at QFC, to be fair!)
Thanks to seeing one too many YouTube videos where people talk about expensive, high-end meat, I decided to order a box of meat on Crowd Cow. And, wouldn’t you know it, they managed to get me to buy around $100 worth ($80 after all the piles of discounts though). It’s ostensibly a subscription box but given my usual level of meat consumption this is going to last me… well, a few months at least. So I guess I’m going to have to be very careful about making sure that I don’t end up with another big pile of meat in a month.
I have no idea if this is going to fit in my freezer. It arrives tomorrow. I also have a contractor (hopefully) finishing up my kitchen remodel. This will be interesting.
Anyway, with this Crowd Cow link you, too, can get $25 off your first box of high-end meat.
My last full day in Port Angeles was just like… okay I guess. I went out for breakfast and got a decent eggs benedict at a café in the industrial district. The weather was pretty nice so I started looking into other hikes I could do but all of the trails that were both open and not expert-level were a two-hour drive away, and I was feeling pretty tired, so I took a nap to mull it over.
When I woke up it was raining, so I just stayed at the AirBnB and worked on some more music and just generally hung out and relaxed. Then for dinner I went to a barbecue place (the one I had planned on going to turns out to be only open for lunch) which was pretty decent. There was also a huge print of their “mascot” on the wall, which looked suspiciously furry. I posted a photo of it to my Discord and right away a friend recognized the original art. (Update: For once, it turns out it was properly licensed. Good on them!)
Anyway. Tomorrow I check out and head back to Seattle. I’m not sure I feel substantially better than when I left, but at least it was nice to get away for the first time in well over a year, and to have my first actual not-actually-an-unpaid-job-in-disguise, not-a-family-disaster vacation in a long time.
Today the weather cleared up so I finally went hiking for an hour or so. Only one trailhead I could find was open from the Port Angeles side of the forest (most of the roads into the forest were closed due to snow), and when I got there the parking lot was filling up. I wandered around a bit and took a bunch of photos and audio recordings, but quickly found that my camera’s battery did not like the cold (or maybe it’s just getting old and needs to be replaced). According to the trail map I made it maybe a third of the way up before my legs were telling me that I was in no way fit enough to keep going, and then after I turned back I found that the parking lot was overflowing and a whole bunch of people were now on the trail. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.
Hopefully tomorrow I can go to a different trailhead but the weather report is saying it’s going to be raining again, so my last day here might be like all the others.
Also I really should have worn thicker socks, as my feet were pretty cold the whole time. If it isn’t raining I’ll definitely bring the thick pair I brought for this very reason.