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Earthly Eats Vegetarian Turkey Salad

Description. Turkey salad is itself superfluous. It is seldom seen outside the post-Thanksgiving repurposing-desperation period, usually on or around the Tuesday following, by which time all other turkey dishes — sandwiches; tetrazzini; an awkward canapé incident involving pimiento — have been exhausted and only salad and smoothies remain. It is never ordered, or craved.

The Foundation has yet to collect sufficient data on why this is so, although one leading theory has it that turkey, despite its superior taste, is not as agreeably chunkable as chicken and therefore fails to translate. But it is so nevertheless; turkey salad is inessential. Vegetarian turkey salad, then, is almost actively a waste of energy and space.

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Scandia Bucegi (vegetarian pate)

Description. Vegetarian pâté seldom works. It cannot. Pâté is by definition a spreadable meat, one that can hold a clever shape thanks to said meat’s natural fats. The vegetable version can scarcely call itself a “substitute,” forced as it is to shore up its flavorless and soupy presentation with large infusions of sodium, guar gum, and gelatin.

Perfectly serviceable red-pepper terrines, shiitake whips, and the like do exist, and partner productively with a pita wedge, but using the word “pâté” creates an expectation of richly fatty, rounded flavor and texture that no soy-proximation can replicate.

Scandia’s version is no exception. One could spin the can’s Soviet presentation as a deliberate decision not to overpromise Onassistine luxury, but the label is no-nonsense and efficient in its instructions for consumption. “To be preferably consumed till [sic] end of year inscribed on the lid” (here, 2013). “It is recommended to be consumed cold, a maximum 24 hours from opening the can.”

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