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Friday, November 07, 2003

Vegetarian Wine: The Hunt for Red October! 

I said that we would get back to you with the result of our research into vegetarian and vegan wines, turns out there is little if any difference, if it's vegetarian it's vegan depending on your interpretation of vegetarian; if you're lacto-vegetarian some wines not vegan would still be okay if they have been fined (the process of clarifying the wine by filtering it) through albumin from egg white. The other possibility is that the wine was clarified using other agents: isinglass from fish, powdered residue from the hooves or connective tissue of animals and other non-vegetarian sources. Wine makers want to remove the fine particles of bio matter from their wines to clarify them , the traditional method of fining was to allow time and gravity to settle the particulate out, hence the term sediment applies, this is time consuming, read costly. Fining by filtering is both cost effective for mass production and in most cases renders the wine non-vegan if not non-vegetarian.

The other problem is that wine producers do not list ingredients on their product, it's not required, and labeling as vegan or vegetarian is often overlooked if not simply ignored; asking in most retail outlets will yield negative results so you're pretty much on your own. We found a surprisingly short list of source on the internet. Frey Vineyards: Vegan Wines is one that offers a clearly stated commitment to producing Vegan wines and presents a good overview of organic and biodynamic farming technologies. Sleuthing wine and wine shops is difficult and frustrating for most of us, a pleasure to a gifted few and impossible for the rest, restaurants are in another category entirely so I'm happy to include this from the Grove Restaurant What is an Organic Vineyard? (A Bug's Eye View) If you are still determined to include that special wine with your Thanksgiving celebration I hope this has helped. As for myself the quest for a local source continues, I'll let you know, now Back to
"The Green Cuttingboard" kitchen's Vegetarian Thanksgiving menu.

We offer one last dessert and move gamely on to the search for that most elusive course on the veg holiday table, "Hey! Where's the turkey!"

"Ginger Apple Cake" , Harlan

The Cake

1 cup unbleached flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbls. baking powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. allspice
2/3 cup soy milk, unflavored
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tsp. vanilla (alcohol free)

The Topping

1 Granny Smith Apple
2 Tbls vegan spread such as Earth Balance
1/4 cup brown sugar

Lightly oil and flour an 8" round baking pan. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, and allspice, and set aside. In a mixer beat together the wet ingredients until well combined, add the dry ingredients to the mixer and blend at a slow speed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the baking pan before removing.

Heat a small frying pan on the stove and to that add the vegan spread. Peel, core and slice the apple and add it to the pan, saute on medium high until the slices start to brown. Add the brown sugar and allow time for it to melt. Turn off the heat and let it cool slightly to thicken the mixture before sliding the topping onto the top of the cake.

May be served warm or cooled.



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