Pork skin and pork fat aren't exactly standard fare for a vegan diet. So chicharrónes are an unlikely find on an all-herbivorous menu. But find them, we did.
At Bird Road's Beehive Juice Bar, Brazilian owner Carlos Schichi cooks up this signature snack for reformed meat eaters, heart attack sufferers, and clean eaters alike. No piggie parts required.
So what's in a vegan chicharrón? Basically, it's a thin strip of baked tofu topped with Bragg's Liquid Aminos (basically an über-healthy soy sauce substitute), nutritional yeast and various spices. And the final product is a super crispy, savory snack.
And that's not the only meat-free Latin cuisine he cooks up. There are also vegan empanadas in combos like seitan, potato and pea; tofu with veggie and soy picadillo.
Then there's his ever-popular Tres Amigos dish -- a mash up of red beans, plantains, sweet potato and fresh cilantro salsa, topped with a smattering of organic blue corn chips.
Plus there's red kidney beans, brown rice and soy picadillo. Specials alternate depending on day, so there's always something interesting afoot.
All in all, the crunchy, satisfying chicharrónes are worth a visit on their own. And hurry, because Beehive is moving (or closing) come January 2014.
See also: Choose Compassion: Pigs Are People Too
Honestly, couldn't most of use a little less pig fat in our lives? If not for the sake of the swine, for our arteries, at least.
Follow Hannah on Twitter @hannahalexs.
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