Badger's: New vegan readymade egg mayo and more
Yes! I am finally free from exam hell! Last week was a tough one - four exams, two hours or so each.
With three days of rest between me and the last exam, and three months of holiday ahead of me, I'm all good with studying again. Of course, this is cheerful post-exam me. If you'd have talked to me last week, I would have told you there were times when I sat down and turned a paper over and questioned why I threw over a perfectly good career to go back to university and put myself through all this daftness once again.
In the run up to exams, I wasn't sleeping as well as I usually do (and I normally sleep like a dead person) and food was normally stuff I got out of packets - ready-made pies or sausage with some carbs, with roast veggies and beans were pretty much all I could get down my neck for the last couple of weeks.
It's not my usual style - normally I love messing around in the kitchen and making everything myself - but I'm so glad at how much readymade vegan food has developed in the UK over seven years I've been vegan.
Not so long ago, my local health food/veg*n shop has started stocking a vegan brand I'd not come across before: Badger's Egg and Dairy Free. At the minute, they have three products, all happily vegan: potato salad, coleslaw, and egg mayonnaise alternative. In my local shop, they were priced at £1.99 for a decently-sized tub.
I decided in the interests of thoroughness/greediness to try all of them!
When I was a kid, I used to plough through pots and pots of coleslaw and potato salad - I used to love them both in white bread sandwiches. Peeling back the lid of Badger's made by very happy in that Proustian nostalgia food way.
When I started getting stuck into the coleslaw, there was a bit of a mismatch between my happy memories and the pot I was happily shovelling into my face and I couldn't quite work out why. It took me a while to crack it - it was because the coleslaw of my youth was very sweet, and this wasn't. Badger's is a bit more on the sharp side, with a strong vinegar tang. After adjusting my tastebuds accordingly, I used up the pot in all the usual ways - jacket potato filling, a side for burgers, all that good stuff.
Potato salad met a similar fate. No complaints there - not so vinegary, nice and creamy, just what you're after to keep your plate company.
I was most interested to give the egg mayonnaise alternative a go. I reckon every vegan has their own homemade egg mayonnaise recipe that they like to use, even if they never ate egg mayonnaise in their pregan days. I've got a couple - my favourite is a lovely tofu-based number from Crazy, Sexy Vegan.
So how does Badger's compare? Really rather well, I'm happy to say! Interestingly, it's made of chick peas and pasta, which gives it a texture that's particularly reminiscent of egg. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective on such matters, but it's definitely an authentic rendition of the egg mayo you remember.
As for the taste, Badger's have managed a cracker - I really enjoyed getting my teeth stuck into this one. Rich, creamy, with the black salt tang, it's a great egg mayo alternative. Next time you're not in the mood for making your own, getting a helping hand from Badger's is no bad thing!