January 2009


Vegetarian… what?

I was at my local REWE doing shopping, looking at everything on the shelf, when I encountered one of those odd ball items that makes no sense to me.

It was in the Italian section, in REWE Bio packaging. REWE Bio is a store brand designed to get German consumer attention and affection: It appeals to the current healthy organic living lifestyle that Germans aspire to. For a slight bit more one can buy goods that are, in theory, free of awful pesticides.

What made this pasta sauce stand out to me as that it was designed to appeal to the healthy organic living lifestyle, plus vegetarian aspirations:

Vegetarische Bolognese

9 comments to Vegetarian… what?

  • ahhhh… meatless meat.

  • Broccolaise, perhaps?

  • I was thinking Bolognese made with actual vegetarians.

  • I can tell you that upon hearing that I am a vegetarian in Germany, the average German in the conversation will immediately start to tell me how much meat he/she does not eat, and how often they eat entirely vegetarian meals and how they don’t actually miss the meat in these meals, and how healthy it is, etc.

    I’d say Rewe knows their customer base.

  • G

    I think many things here are amazing. I especially love the Ersatz Caviar (vegetarianische). Last week a poor old woman asked me what the price on some caviar was (I assure you, Deutsche and cheap) but what she had in her hand was the ersatz kind. It is on the shelf next to the real stuff, in exactly the same style container, with the same type printing, but with ersatz and vegetarianische in tiny letters on the lid. I bought it once, by accident, and after I spit it out, I figured out the difference. The German tells me ersatz does not actually mean fake in German, although he thinks it means copy. I can tell you that poor old lady (German) had no idea, and switched tins after I pointed it out. Perhaps the vegetarian Bolognaise gets a few takers that exact way.

  • As original as veggie burgers. Why don’t they just call it the bland, pasty salt-laden mash that it is?

  • @Jess: Next thing you know, we’ll have alcohol-free beer.

    @Headbang8: Perhaps…

    @CQ: Perhaps…

    @heather: I suppose it turns a profit–you’re probably right.

    @G: Vegetarian Caviar sounds awful! (On a German language note, I think “ersatz” might better be translated as “substitute”–it’s substitute caviar)

    @ian: I’m not sure, but I doubt they could sell as many with your suggested name.

  • ann

    it’s soy bits – and it’s actually not bad. i think the quality of meat that winds up in bottled tomato sauce is rather suspect anyway, so i’ll take the veggie version given the choice – I get the alnatura at DM.

    i have wonderful memories of veggie burgers from the diner near my college – they were the oaty kind you toast and in no way resembled hamburgers – and they were GREAT with honey mustard dressing.

    the caviar is a perfect example of the potential this has to go take a bad turn, so the exception might prove the rule.

  • @ann: I think my objection to it is more on the wholesale stealing of a word that specifically means “meat” to mean “soy” — of course, I drink soy milk when I’m in the States, so maybe I am overstating my objection!