The food world is not exempt from the laws of physics, so it stands to reason that the meat madness of recent years would eventually be met with an equal and opposite reaction on the veggie front. De Vegetarische Slager—literally, “the vegetarian butcher”—opened earlier this month in The Hague with a devotion to meatlessness that rivals the enthusiasm of any flesh fiend.
The shop sets itself apart from the average health food store aisle with a diverse and novel range of products, like hemp and spelt pasta, Asian black rice and other gourmet carbs from Swedish artisan food company Renée Voltaire. But its real contribution to the veggie lifestyle is its line of lupin-based products. Lupin is a legume that was once popular food for the Romans and other inhabitants of the Mediterranean, and the owners of De Vegetarische Slager teamed up with a Dutch lupin farmer and a chef to give the little yellow beans another shot at the mainstream. Lupin is transformed into a meaty-textured edible protein, which De Vegetarische Slager sells in char siu, teriyaki and a rotating cast of other flavors said to appeal to even the most devoted meat eaters. Once the place starts dealing in vegan offal, we’ll know the gourmet meatless movement has caught up.