In recent weeks within this small world of London Veganry, there’s been a right old kerfuffle about The Mighty Fork launching its gourmet vegan dogs. I’ve been jealously reading about FGV’s excitable trip to their kitchen and the tweets from those who tried their goods at a market in Clapham and were taken on an ecstatic trip to taste nirvana, but obviously I wasn’t going to go to Clapham for any reason – even delicious vegan hotdocs – so I’ve been waiting for their yellow tent to come a little closer.
And yesterday it did, to Cabbages and Frocks in Marylebone – still not very close to my house, and still in a well-to-do neighbourhood in which I get scared of being identified as an oikish infiltrator, but close enough within my arbitrary and childish region of areas in London in which I’ll go to things.
Well, we went, and it was amazing. This is a great leap forward to the clouds in vegan street food.
This is one of their 5 plant-based hotdog options, The Brewdog, made with a Portuguese Beer Sauce (the Mighty Forkers are from Portugal), Jalapenos, sauteed onions and loads of sauce – everything slathered on, ready to make a mess over your face and clothes. The dog itself is a big tasty tofu wiener and the whole package is a treat experience served in a jaunty yellow tray
There are some “fake meat”- based meals and new products which vegans get excited about and which disappoint me when I try them – they’re too meaty in taste, or they’re stringy, or they’re plasticky, they’re packaged like medical products, or they’re just darn trying too hard to look and feel like ‘real’ meat. But the hot dogs from Mighty Fork are an original culinary experience all of themselves, with feet in the concept of a ‘proper’ hot dog but something going far beyond those confines.
The best new vegan tastes are coming from a place where chefs are thinking round the whole idea of a new kind of plant-based cuisine as opposed to traditional vegan food. It’s more than a labeling question, though I also think it’s notable that companies like The Mighty Fork often use the term ‘plant-based’ alongside/instead of vegan now. This is the real revolution we’re seeing around us, linked I’d suggest to the increasing number of vegans and vegan options around – an excitement about trying to create new meals and products around plants that all people can eat who want fresh and natural food. A new sustainable high-quality cuisine that’s exciting to play with. Lots of people like me will revel in it as vegans motivated by an ethical choice based around animal dignity, but you could equally take pride in eating food like The Mighty Fork if your food choices are more motivated by fresh, authentic and environmentally-friendly reasons.
I can’t wait to try their other flavours and to see how this company, apparently staffed by lovely people too, develops. They’re promising more quality vegan fast food to come and I love it that they speak of themselves as fast food lovers – I very much welcome more vegan food makers who come down on the side of treaty-trashy joy food than guilt-free sensible healthy food (though I love that, obviously). I bet most other vegans feel that way too in their true hearts.
I want everyone to try these hot dogs, they are truly a new joyous addition to our food scene in this town. So, going back to my tiresome whine about location, I hope TMF move over to a more vibrant market where more kinds of Londoners can try their amazing creations – Cabbages and Frocks is a strange little quiet thing catering to tourists and Marylebone Conran-buyers and though the Forkers appear to have a captive audience there as the only food truck, I’m not sure it’s their posse. I’d suggest a move to somewhere younger and more fun.
Wherever they go next, hope to see them elsewhere soon…and even if it’s out of my self-assigned geographical niche, I’ll still travel far for these new star dogs. You have to try them!