July 4, 2012

National BBQ Spareribs Day

"Using words to describe barbecue is like using a screwdriver to cut roast beef." – Tom Robbins

It's National BBQ Spareribs Day!

Sponsored byVege USA

In my opinion, there's nothing quite as wonderful as having dinner with family and friends. It's balm to the soul. There's nothing I would rather do than break bread with people I love. I think it's why I like Thanksgiving so much.

A few years ago I had dinner with a wonderful friend at a restaurant neither of us had ever been to. Every single detail about that night was perfect. The atmosphere, the conversation, the mood, and the food. I had vegan citrus spare ribs, which I was talked into by the waitress after expressing original interest in the peanut curry. "It's almost summer," she said. "And that dish is very root vegetable heavy. It's an autumn meal. You should try the spareribs." And so I did.

The entire meal was delightful... actually it was so good, I was literally wiping the remains of it off the plate with my finger so that I wouldn't miss a single drop of food. I didn't think anyone but that restaurant created such a dish.

Enter Vege USA.

My local Whole Foods carries just two of their products: the black pepper steaks and the citrus spare ribs (both vegan). But one of the difficulties of having a plant-based diet is finding products that are good. I've wasted so much time and money experimenting with different companies vegetarian or vegan foods that it makes me gun shy now to try new things. I was nervous to try Vege USA's citrus spare ribs, because... what if they weren't good? That's money I'd never get back, and an entire meal I'd have to rethink and remake thus taking up more of my time.

But tonight, I finally got the chance to try them.

And. They. Were. AWESOME. Just like the flavor I remember from the restaurant 'lo those many years ago: chewy, dense "sparerib cutlets" covered in a sweet, tangy finger-licking delicious sauce. I actually kept the box near me the entire meal so that I could reassure myself that it was vegan. Despite being in big, green letters on the front of the package, I was still unsure because of how "meaty" they were. I especially liked them, because they were something I know I couldn't make myself. If there's one thing I hate it's going out to dinner, or buying a product from the grocery store, and thinking, "Man, I probably could have just made this at home and saved myself a buck or two."

Tonight, however, this was the very last thing I was thinking.

Vege USA offers meal alternatives for the vegetarian and vegan palate with authentic Asian and other internationally-themed gourmet flavors. Their team of culinary experts routinely travel the world to source the best ingredients possible and consult with accomplished chefs. According to their website, "By offering delectable and nutritious products which can be savored by devoted and occasional vegetarians alike, Vege USA is dedicated to helping consumers embrace healthy eating not just for now, but for life."

Happy National BBQ Spareribs Day!

Disclaimer: The product(s) featured in this review were provided free of cost to me by the manufacturer. Opinions expressed are totally my own and are NOT in anyway influenced by monetary compensation. Logo used with permission from company.