“it doesn’t even taste vegan”

the other night, one of my friends sampled my crazydelicious brownie dessert (aka goddess food) and said, “oh, that’s really good! it doesn’t even taste vegan.” as you can imagine, i made a really obnoxious face at her, and proceeded to (good-naturedly, i hope) press her about what that meant, exactly. i kept trying to get her to see that it sounded kind of rude, as if all vegan things are gross. i know she didn’t mean it that way, because she’s very “vegan-friendly” herself, and has even been veg*n at a few points in her life. but she kind of stuck to her guns, insisting that i should know what she meant.Ā 

i don’t.

i swear that every dessert i’ve made since going vegan has tasted just as good, if not better, than any dessert i ever made before i went vegan. sure, there are things that i like and things that i don’t like, but that’s true no matter what diet we follow. i honestly don’t get what she means when she says that certain things “taste vegan.” i feel skeptical now about everyone who has ever told me that my cupcakes are delicious. are they just humoring me? or are they delicious in the category of vegan-tasting cupcakes?Ā 

do people ever say this to you? do you have a good comeback? am i missing a point here?
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8 comments

  1. You just missed the compliment she was giving.
    I believe she based her comment on the fact that so many foods are adulterated by milk and butter. But that what you created tasted the same – if not better- wihtout all that crap. She probably meant “This doesn’t even taste like flour and almond milk!, it tastes like brownies” To the general public… if you take out the eggs, milk, butter, etc. what is left? They can’t ‘imagine’ what it would taste like until they put it in their mouth, and then when they are blown away by the taste they say “Insert your freinds compliment here”
    Looking forward to your next post

  2. This has happened to me before and I have responded the same way. It’s a compliment back a back handed one. Like “Wow, you look good for your age”. The fact that she’s a here today gone tomorrow type of veg*n makes it even worse because she would know that veg*n food is good food. I, personally, don’t even tell people stuff I make is vegan anymore and they gobble it up, love it and I don’t have to hear any random comments about it except the sounds of them licking their plates.

  3. I’ve had people claim that there’s something special about animal fats that makes cupcakes taste richer & that they can taste the difference. I don’t buy it, but I suppose there’s no persuading some people. It doesn’t help that it still is fairly easy to buy crappy vegan baked goods in stores, y’know? I mean, there are good ones, but there are still enough crappy ones to bolster the reputation of vegan baked goods as a let-down. OTOH I was out w/some friends recently at a veg*n restaurant & my friend had a vegan Death by Chocolate & she said she never knew something vegan could taste so good. Which is eyerolly, but good in the end I guess!

  4. As a vegetarian who eats lots of vegan desserts I will say that I see absolutely no difference whatsoever except that I usually do not feel so I had a rich dessert hung over. But I have even said it about some things myself – specifically the Light Life Soyrizo which tastes even better than the real thing but honestly would fool a meat-eater.

  5. okay, first off, i want to remedy my error in the first place, which was that i forgot to link back to the original post about the brownies, here:
    http://quarterlifecrisis.typepad.com/vegan_chai/2008/07/tourist-vegan.html
    so just to be clear: i didn’t make the goddess food, the wonderful julian’s of providence RI made the goddess food. šŸ˜€
    but back to my friend’s comment and my salty reaction… i’m still not entirely sure what she was getting at. she was very smiley and friendly when she said it, and she didn’t SEEM like she was saying something sassy, but even as i was trying to point out how sassy it sounded, she kept saying, “you know what i mean, though!” and i kept saying, “no, i don’t.” i guess i would have understood it more if we were eating meat substitutes… i’ve definitely experienced food that tastes “too much like actual chicken,” for instance, in that it creeps me out.
    but brownies? brownies taste like brownies! i mean sure, there are good brownies and there are bad brownies, but i guess i blame that more on the baker than on the soymilk vs. cow’s milk, you know? i’m wondering if maybe she’s just always been cursed with yucky vegan desserts, and doesn’t realize there are a lot of good ones out there. she lives totally across the country from me, so she has never experienced my cupcakes. šŸ˜‰

  6. Okay, so if Adele’s comment didn’t convince you that your friend meant nothing by her statement,then you’re just choosing to get offended. People don’t make you feel a certain way by the things they say, you choose to react to it a certain way and that gauges how you feel, your thoughts dictate your feelings! She meant to give you a compliment and too bad, she used the wrong words to do so. You should be flattered that you can make desserts so delicious people can’t tell the eggs, milk, butter are missing. It’s like when a lesbian gets all pissed off when you say hey, you guys! No, we don’t really think you are guys and the argument that our language is sexist is so old. It’s just slang!!!!! Even if you feel that way (because your thoughts made you feel that way) it’s wrong to create an argument with someone when their intentions were good.

  7. i feel like you’re not reading what i wrote, emily, because i never said i was offended, and i also said a couple of times that *i didn’t even make the brownies*… so it’s not a compliment OR a criticism of me, regardless. i’m not choosing to be offended. this is one of my best friends, and i’ve already said that she was very smiley when she talked to me and i was teasing her in return. there wasn’t an argument and i’m not angry. i was merely posing the question, what does someone mean when they say that brownies “don’t even taste vegan.” no need to scold me.

  8. i feel like you’re not reading what i wrote, emily, because i never said i was offended, and i also said a couple of times that *i didn’t even make the brownies*… so it’s not a compliment OR a criticism of me, regardless. i’m not choosing to be offended. this is one of my best friends, and i’ve already said that she was very smiley when she talked to me and i was teasing her in return. there wasn’t an argument and i’m not angry. i was merely posing the question, what does someone mean when they say that brownies “don’t even taste vegan.” no need to scold me.

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