Meat Gets the Chop at New Butcher's Shop in The HagueFeatured December 10 Words by Simon Hunter
First Ghent in Belgium opted to go veggie every Thursday, then Sir Paul McCartney clubbed together with Chris Martin and Sheryl Crow to promote "meat- free Mondays". And now Europe's first vegetarian butcher has opened in The Hague. De Vegetarische Slager opened its doors in mid-October, selling a mix of vegetables and meat replacement products made from protein-rich lupin seeds. It's all the idea of lupin farmer Jaap Korteweg, who collaborated with chef Marco Westmaas and Party for the Animals senator Niko Koffeman to create the meat- free treats.
"Supermarkets and health food stores offer a growing variety of meat substitutes aimed at vegans, vegetarians, flexitarians [semi-vegetarians] and everyone else who has decided to eat less meat," says Koffeman. "Our dream was a store dedicated to meat substitutes in the same way a butcher is dedicated to meat, with meat substitutes that have the same bite, structure and taste as the real thing."
Lupin seeds were apparently a staple of the Ancient Roman diet, and they're coming back into fashion thanks to the efforts of Koffeman and Co. In a blind test for Belgian radio, 14 out of 15 meat eaters thought the lupin product was real meat, and nearby butcher's shop Arno Wapenaar has started selling it alongside the conventional cuts. Look out for lupin coming to a plate near you. vegetarischeslager.nl