Caviar, smoked salmon, foie gras: what are the vegetarian alternatives?

New Year’s Eve marks the great festive meal of the year. On this occasion, caviar, salmon and foie gras are in order. So many dishes served as an aperitif, on toast or blinis, which many people love… with the exception of vegetarians. So for everyone to enjoy festive products, here are vegetarian alternatives to foie gras, caviar and salmon.

The plant-based alternative to caviar: vegan balls

Caviar is served on canapes, salmon toast or scrambled eggs. Its little jet-black beads crunch and then melt in your mouth, like a unique and mysterious dish.

Vegetable caviar

We don’t talk about it much and yet there is indeed a plant-based version of caviar. Sold in grocery stores or online, it is prepared with marine algae. According to the producers, it can also be prepared with Japanese pearls. Visually, you would believe it, tastefully, the iodized taste of the seaweed would be reminiscent of caviar. Despite the slight difference in taste, vegetable caviar remains perfect for vegetarians who, for Christmas, do not wish to deprive themselves of this dish.

Mustard seed pickles

We remind you that today, caviar is a luxury dish. For a more accessible vegetarian alternative to sturgeon roe, a second option exists: mustard seed pickles. Sold at around €7 for a 100g pot compared to €70 minimum for caviar, this option has it all. Visually, these pickles take on the appearance of golden caviar. Tastewise, on the other hand, we move away from traditional caviar. Its taste will be more acidic and its texture more crunchy. Finally, the opportunity to discover new tastes.

The plant-based alternative to smoked salmon: seaweed extract

On a blini covered in crème fraîche with a few sprigs of chives, or in a carpaccio, salmon seduces everyone. It is eaten more regularly throughout the year than caviar and foie gras, generally reserved for the holidays, while remaining a Christmas dish. You don’t like salmon but want to enjoy beautiful pink slices on New Year’s Eve? Here is the solution: plant-based salmon, made from algae extracts, or even carrots. The composition of this product varies depending on the distributor but one thing is certain: the plant-based salmon will delight your taste buds. In terms of nutrition, salmon made from algae extracts will probably be prepared with vegetable oils and pea proteins, to find as much omega 3 as possible, like traditional salmon.

The plant-based alternative to foie gras: fake gras

The advantage when you choose a “faux gras”, vegetable foie gras, is that you can have fun varying the tastes. For good reason, fake fats are made differently. Chickpeas or tofu are commonly used as the base for fake fat. Some are prepared with cashews and pecans for a consistent texture, others with nutritional yeast for a foamy texture. The faux gras are flavored with truffle, champagne or spices. So many varieties that would almost make you prefer faux gras to foie gras.

Good news, making your own foie gras to get even more hands-on is also possible!

Products to be found in grocery stores or online.

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