I heard this term used in the news a short while ago in relation to something to do with US politics.  But you can have a satan sandwich, but it isn’t spelt that way, it is seitan.  It is also not supposed to be pronounced that way, the word is Asian in origin.  It is a vegan wheat gluten meat replacement, and I just found out it is sometimes referred to as mock duck.

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages, I just made myself a steak sandwich using seitan and the usual trimmings, and it was delicious.  For all the world, having eaten it, I can’t tell it wasn’t a traditional steak sandwich that I ate.  I made it with seitan from Kring, natural style, I think.  They also do spiced and chicken style.  Kring is a restaurant (full menu here) in Sofia which sells its products on the premises and also in some shops, in Sofia, Plovdiv and Ruse.  Their products are delicious, and for me as a vegan they are one of the saving graces of Bulgaria.  If you guys at Kring read this – hi, I love you, thanks for my great steak sandwich lunch!  And thanks for who you are too.  I really love you.  And I very much appreciate the addition of your gorgeously light vegan chocolate cake to your menu.  I haven’t tried the carrot cake yet, I am sure it is as good.

I get embarrassed trying to say ‘seitan’, because the obvious way appears to be ‘satan’, but that isn’t right.  But if you are insistent on trying to say it the right way people can think ‘methinks the lady doth protest too much’.  I bought a vegan cookery book when I first became a vegan, and it had a recipe called ‘seitanic’ something or other, and I was offended.  I like seitan, but I wish it was called something else.  As I said, I was offended, but now I wonder if using it in that way was just a way of emphasising the awkwardness and embarrassment and turning it into humour.  Seitan isn’t an English word.  It wasn’t designed to invoke ideas of satan.  I just read its most likely origin is Japan, which would make it a compound of two words, sei, meaning ‘to be’, or ‘to become’, and tan, meaning ‘protein’.

Obviously in England you can use the word subversively, and maybe that is where my embarrassment comes from, because there have been times when I have felt a certain glee in being able to do so, to express my own brassed off-ness, and be aware of the ambiguity and the fact that it is the name of a vegan food stuff.  People use those kinds of ambiguities all the time, as I have said elsewhere on this blog.  That is why, in serious situations where I feel people could use their power to hurt me, I tend not to trust them unless they state their wants and intentions in a legally recognisable and accountable way.  Sometimes there is too much at stake (no pun intended but immediately recognised) not to insist on that.

OK I’ll stop there.  I seem to have come to a standstill and I don’t think there is anything else I wanted to say in this post.

Advertisements