The first thing.. do you know how hard it is to not type Curlz with a Z at the end? It was right there for the taking and they squandered it. Z, man.. Z
I believe that the universe sometimes works in mysterious ways. Not an otherworldly or superior being-ish way.. just a sort of an odd 'wow.. look what had to happen in order for this to have come about' sort of way.
This is how I found
So, a number of years ago.. many, many moons.... I met a girl online named Dee. She and I met on a message board. We stayed in touch thru the years and when Facebook came into being we ended up being FB friends.. and that is how I met her cousin in law, Pam.
Pam is a runner and she has a blog. I make jewelry and sell it on Etsy (yes, I'm going somewhere with this) and I created some running jewelry for Pam and then I expanded the 'Run' line and in order to promote the line, I offered Pam the opportunity to hold a giveaway on her blog because the universe knows, I am so not a runner and I needed exposure to runners.
She ran the giveaway and her friend, Kim, won it. Kim is a vegan and she lives in the same regional area of Chicago as I do! What are the odds? I'm always happy to meet new vegans. While Kim and I were chatting via email she casually said 'oh, hey.. by the way.. my husband owns fakemeats.com .. here is a discount code for 15% off.'
I had heard of Fake Meats.com and I even 'liked' them on Facebook but I had no idea it was based here in Illinois where I live and I had no idea she was a friend of Pam's. I've even browsed their website. Now, if you know me.. you know that I rarely buy anything online without a discount code.
So.. off I went to browse again, 15% code in hand. I found Soy Curls (and some other chicken substitute and some cheddar bacon popcorn and..... but let's get back on topic, shall we?!) Now, I had heard of Soy Curls but hadn't really researched it or checked for reviews or looked for recipes. It isn't anything I can buy locally so I hadn't tried it yet. I honestly thought it was just TVP but it isn't. It's actually whole soybeans.. nothing else!
Yes.. it's a whole food.. like tempeh is. Hardly processed, really.
The Butler Foods website says this about Soy Curls "Select certified Non-GMO soybeans grown without chemical pesticides are soaked in spring water. Then the soybeans are cooked and delicately textured after which they are dried at low temperature thus ensuring the natural goodness of the whole soybean high in fiber and omega-3. Soy Curls™ are one of the most pure, healthful products on the market containing no chemicals, additives, or preservatives."
So ... by some strange universal magic... I found my way to Soy Curls via my friends Dee and Pam.
So... onto my review.... I f'ing love these things and so did my 'vegan at home' husband (he's an omnivore when he eats away from home). I can see these getting lots of use in my house!
I re-hydrated them by soaking them in a no chicken bouillon for about 20 minutes. Then I dredged them in flour seasoned with salt and pepper and pan fried them in canola oil and drained them on paper napkins.
That gave me the base for what will become a staple around here... I had perfectly breaded morsels of goodness ready for whatever sauce I wanted... I coated them in buffalo wing sauce and served them as is with fries. We loved it!
They have a delightfully chewy meat-like texture and I'd imagine they'd pick up whatever flavor you cooked them with. I had a hard time staying away from them after frying them up. So, make extras for snacking.
Here are the photos I took of the process:
My husband made the same remark I did when seeing them .. they look like clam strips. so, I figured I could maybe season them with Old Bay sometime and make those for him. I could also imagine using sweet & sour or teriyaki on these and making fried rice or a stir fry. Kim says she makes fajitas out of it (sans breading) .. so, I think anything you can do with shredded chicken, you can do with Soy Curls.
Two thumbs up.. for sure. I'm gonna need to order more.