THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!
One year ago this month…
People stormed through the doors on Opening Day at IKEA in Oak Creek.
Our family was able to get a sneak preview of IKEA before all the pandemonium thanks to a local elected official.
Who invited us?
Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor. As IKEA was making plans to open its first Wisconsin location, Taylor also represented Oak Creek as a member of the Milwaukee County Board.
Before we go on my wife swore she’d never see the day I would set foot in one of those stores. Who could blame Jennifer. She assumed I’d have this reaction.
And if you’re keeping score this is the second time Steve Taylor has been mentioned in a Culinary no-no.
Anyway, since the big opening we’ve gone back to IKEA and we always seem to find time for some dining, right Kyla?
OK. Nothing wrong with Kyla’s choice being shared by Audrey.
But something definitely appears to be missing.
Let’s check out Mommy’s plate.
Ahh! Those iconic and reasonably-priced meatballs. Beef, pork, onion, bread crumbs, egg, water, salt, and pepper.
Chicken balls are available, too.Chicken, onion, potato starch, salt and spices.
And since 2015 IKEA has also been making veggie balls.
Chickpeas, carrots, maize, kale, red peppers, peas, and pea protein. They are vegan and gluten-free.
I could care less what’s in them. I’m merely passing the ingredients along for informational purposes.
Apparently the veggie balls aren’t veggie enough. Who says so? IKEA says so.
“We know that the IKEA meatballs are loved by the many people and for years the meatballs have been the most popular dish in our restaurants,” said Michael La Cour, Managing Director at IKEA Food Services AB. “We see a growing demand from our customers to have access to more sustainable food options and we want to meet that need. Our ambition is to make healthier and more sustainable eating easy, desirable and affordable without compromising on taste and texture.”
IKEA reportedly wants to produce a more realistic vegan meatball. What the hell does that mean? More than likely, plants shoved into a fake meatball in hopes of making this phony creation taste like a meatball.
According to MarketWatch this potentially makes obvious business sense:
“It’s all part of the blooming plant-based ‘meat’ trend, as one-third of all Americans (and 37% of millennials in particular) plan to eat more plant-based products over the next year…”
Plant-based meat is considered one of the hottest food trends of 2019. FoodBusinessNews.com goes so far as to suggest, “They (plant-derived foods and ingredients) are increasingly being served not because there is a booming vegan or vegetarian movement, but simply because people are choosing non-meat entrées as they heed the recommendations of nutritionists, environmentalists and animal activists who encourage going meat-free a few times per week.”
Personally, I have yet to drink the Kool-Aid. I still crave meat and dairy products.
But millennials (of course) are the driving force behind an estimated 30% drop in such food items. There seems to be a fascination with going or being “vegan” as Google searches for the term increased by 90% in 2016. Plant-based meat could mean big bucks with the market possibly reaching $5.2 billion next year.
So can anyone really blame the giant that is IKEA for seeing dollar signs?
“Looking at the quality of the products that we have been tasting I am looking forward to serve a delicious plant based meatball made from alternative protein at IKEA. I hope that the many meatball lovers out there will like it as well,” said IKEA’s Michael La Cour.
Count me out. My wife and daughter, too.
We tried to get Steve Taylor to weigh in. When we had lunch with him at IKEA he definitely went for the real meat meatballs.
Taylor was unavailable for comment. Yes, I know that’s rare. But I’m guessing if Taylor could express his view on falafel IKEA balls….
If I’m wrong, I’m sure Steve will let us know.
Meanwhile IKEA plans to test the new vegan meatballs with shoppers beginning early next year, and to roll them out to their in-store cafes across the world sometime after that.
I’d rather chew on their cheap furniture.
CULINARY NO-NO BONUS