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August 2, 2016

First Vegan Test Crew in Cape Town

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Got vegan food?  We certainly did this last Saturday when Vegan Review hosted our first official Vegan Test Crew event in Cape Town.

We were spoiled for choice with four types of biltong from Oh!Poppyseed, many flavours of beer from Aegir Independent Breweries, an array of colourful pesto’s from Pesto Princess and vegan breads freshly baked from Cape Point Bakery… and those were just the starters!

Our mains had just as much to offer. Nobleway Foods presented us with four different types of delicious seitan while we got to sample B-well‘s groundbreaking new vegan mayonnaises. This was accompanied by varying flavours of  Kimchi and Sauerkraut from Fermented Foods.

Dessert just got better! We were lucky enough to get our hands on the new sought-after vegan ice cream by Phat Fox. We even got to sample four delicious flavours which went just perfectly with the delightful treats presented to us by Angel Chef.

Testers in action with starters of biltong, beer and pesto #vegan #vegantesters #capetown #vegansofig #veganreview

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How did you get so lucky you ask?

It all started in April 2016 when we unexpectedly received a vegan goodie box filled to the brim with tasty morsels to sample. Initially it was tempting to keep it all to ourselves, but in the spirit of sharing we decided to host an impromptu dinner date with friends. Everybody loved it and we had such a grand time that we decided we should continue doing future events. What we found especially fascinating is that our reviews of the same products sometimes differed vastly, and in other cases we were overwhelmingly in agreement. We thought that the suppliers would be really interested in our feedback and that’s why we launched The Vegan Testers.

What’s The Vegan Test Crew?

In a nutshell we taste test vegan products and provide feedback to suppliers on veganreview.net. You can find out more over here.


The Starters

We figured that a suitable way to kick-start The Vegan Testers would be in true South African style:  Biltong and Beer.

Oh!Poppyseed provided us with Mushroom, Chilli Mushroom, Brinjal and Chilli Brinjal biltong.  I absolutely loved it, and think it’s by far one of the best vegan biltongs in South Africa. I was so eager to try it, I secretly sneaked a piece of the Chilli Mushroom flavour before everyone had even arrived (shhh, don’t tell anyone). I was instantly hit with full succulent flavours and was craving more. The general consensus seemed to be everyone else enjoyed it just as much.

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The beer was kindly provided by the Aegir Project Brewery. They specialise in vegan craft beers. Rory the talented beer maker is vegetarian and very well-versed in vegan dietary requirements. Instead of using isinglass (from fish bladders) to filter the beers, they use carrageenan (a type of seaweed) which does just as good a job.

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I can confidently say that one of the biggest highlights were all the dairy-free pestos provided by Pesto Princess. I have never seen so many happy vegans in one sitting. Every pesto product was met with loud audible satisfaction. There was even various commentary about it being the best pesto party ever had.  The only problem we had was scoring and comparing the pestos as every single one of them seemed to get full marks. All in all, Pesto Princess have nailed their vegan range.

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Top class pesto needs a partner in crime. Cape Point Bakery kindly provided us with Seed Loaf, 50% Rye and 100% Rye and it certainly didn’t disappoint. Everything was freshly baked just a few hours prior and was the perfect accompaniment for our prized pesto starters.

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Mains

On to the main event, Nobleway Foods presented us with over four dishes. The Garlic Bites were more than just a bite, but more like one big delicious schnitzel.  I think this was by far one of the top favourites.  We also tried the Herb Roast, a tasty sliceable sausage (which would also make a wonderful sandwich topping), the spicy Sicilian Seitan, and the very popular Red Pepper & Black Sesame Seed Seitan which was slightly fried and crunchy. Yum!

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#seitan #noblewayfoods #thevegantesters #capetown #vegansofig #yum

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It’s seems we all had a shared secret at The Vegan Testers. We had all already tried the B-Well mayo brands and almost everyone already had a jar of it at home!  This didn’t stop us from from putting it to the test just one more time just to make sure. We had two types of potato salad, Tangy Mayo and Creamy Gourmet. For many vegans B-well is already a household brand and the only thing we seemed to disagree on which style we preferred.

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Our Seitan & Potato Salad mains were complemented with Rose Estate’s Fermented Foods.  Sides were Organic Sauerkraut, Spicy Kimchi, Curry Kimchi and Veg Kimchi. Our team was a little startled when there was a small explosion upon opening the jar of sauerkraut, but apparently explosions can be common in fermented foods given the lacto-fermentation process and should not be cause for alarm. After the initial surprise, we tucked in. Most of us were unfamiliar with kimchi, but after a few bites the acquired taste was really pleasant.  Fermented foods are incredibly healthy and the probiotics can do wonders in aiding digestion and improving immunity.

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Dessert

Throughout our afternoon we were waiting in anticipation to dive into the Phat Fox Frozen Fun. These decadent delights did not disappoint!  We sampled the Chocolate, Vanilla, Mint Choc Chip and the Peanut Butter Swirl. We all had a special favourite and luckily enough there were plenty of seconds so we could all dive into our favourite tubs for more. Phat Fox is available at various markets around Cape Town as well as Rodger’s Farm Stall. Get your hands on some of this cold gold if you can, your life will be better for it!

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Last, but definitely not least was Angel Chef’s incredible desserts. Who can resist a Double Cream Lemon & Lime Tart? The presentation was out of this world and the sweet flavours even better.  This went along with an Apple Strudel made with Phyllo Pastry laced with chocolate and agave icing sugar. The Apple Strudel was perfection, especially when complemented with Phat Fox Vanilla Ice Cream. Angel Chefs is available at various markets in Cape Town, as well as at Foragers and The Whole Earth Cafe in Scarborough.

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#vegan #vegansofig #thevegantesters #angelchefs #capetown

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Our day of decadence left our team with happy hearts and contented tummies. We can’t wait for our next one.  If  you think you have the culinary skill to be a tester, or if you think any of your vegan products could pass the grade then join us! Sign up over here.