THe new meat

Interview with Jaap Korteweg, founder of The Vegetarian Butcher

“It is difficult to work without meat or fish,” Jaap Korteweg, founder of The Vegetarian Butcher, regularly says chefs say. “Meat and fish are often the carriers of a dish. Yet the number of people who eat less or even no meat is growing steadily. As a chef you will not get away with a menu without vegetarian options. Those who proactively respond to the growing demand for plant-based food are in the future. If you push it forward, you will live in the past. ”

wash the pig

Before Jaap became completely vegetarian, he tried everything to eat less and better meat. From choosing organic meat to only eating meat when eating out. “I even conceived the wild plan to keep two pigs myself. As the ninth generation of a farming family, I dreamed that I would take good care of those pigs on our farm and eventually slaughter and eat them myself. But just thinking that I would eventually have to slaughter the animals that I took care of for five years meant I didn't even try. ”

My mission? Creating tasty meat, without involving animals. ”

Jaap The Vegetarian Butcher started on animal day 2010. His mission? "Creating tasty meat, without involving animals." To make a real impact, Jaap has only one goal in mind: “To become the biggest butcher in the world”. And without taking the word pride in his mouth, Jaap can now admit that he is making good progress. “When I walk around the factory now, I am so grateful. I have gathered the right people around me to achieve my goal. "

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Jaap Korteweg, oprichter van De Vegetarische Slager

“AS A CHEF YOU CANNOT LEAVE A MENU WITHOUT VEGETARIAN OPTIONS. WHO PROACTIVELY REPLIES TO THE GROWING DEMAND FOR VEGETABLE FOOD IS CONCERNING THE FUTURE. PUSH IT FORWARD, THEN YOU LIVE IN THE PAST. "

real meat as a benchmark

As a meat lover, Jaap has always taken “real meat” as the benchmark for his products. “Our products should not be inferior to animal meat. In addition, the developers pay attention not only to appearance, but also to taste and texture. The latter is perhaps the greatest challenge. To mimic the characteristic meat texture, we combine vegetable structures of, for example, beans and grains. At the same time, they ensure that our meat is a good source of protein. So not only do our products resemble meat in terms of taste, appearance and texture, but also in terms of nutritional value. ”

Better than real

Someone who is involved in structuring is food designer Paul Bom. To make our products compete with real meat, Paul always looks at development from a chef's perspective. “I think from a taste, structure and structure. Take a sausage, for example. If I want to make it into a vegetarian variant, I simply dive into the product with my brain. For starters, there is meat in a sausage. That meat consists of connective tissue, lean parts and also fatty parts. I am looking for a vegetable variant for each element. We then mix those elements into a functional substance such as vegetable proteins. That gives a nice bond. We support this bond with starch for the greasy mouthfeel. The fiber that provides a certain juiciness and bite. And just as with other composite meat products, we add fat in addition to vegetable flavors. And not to forget herbs and spices. Those ingredients are just as important to us as they are with real meat. ”

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Although the products of The Vegetarian Butcher are like real meat, their preparation is different. Jaap:" It is important to know how to prepare vegetable meat optimally. Because things often go wrong during preparation. Our chicken you have to prepare it like a steak, not like a real chicken. If you stir-fry it for too long, it will dry out. It's just a matter of hot oil, searing, turning over and done. "

Whether your sausage is turning

The meat from The Vegetarian Butcher is now also available in bulk packaging from the wholesaler. Jaap: “At many restaurants, the meat of De Vegetarian Butcher is already on the menu, but there is always room for improvement. Our share in the consumer market is ten times greater. You notice that food service is even more conservative. So that means: work to be done! Not only chefs have to catch up, we as a producer too. For example, we are working hard on the development of products that chefs can add their own touch to. For example, vegetarian meat in dough form so that they can make a burger or sausage themselves. "

"It is important to know how to prepare vegetable meat optimally. Our chicken should be prepared like a steak, not like real chicken. "

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