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Golden Ham Log

This Week's Find

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Please just stop gagging for one second and pay attention. Yes, this is a frozen log of vegetarian ham. No, it doesn't roll down stairs, alone or in pairs or over your neighbor's dog. (But it might start if you keep wincing at it.) This little faux-beast is a mighty tasty combo of good old-fashioned grow-hair-on-your-chest ingredients like fibrous soy protein, cornstarch, egg white powder and wheat protein. Mmm, Mmm. Just like mama used to make.

But in all seriousness, this mystery un-meat is one fantastic vegetarian substitute. While not nearly as common as its faux-chicken and un-sausage peers, veggie ham holds its own in the land of flesh impostors. From its moist, meaty texture to its uncanny pork flavor, veggie ham captured my heart (without raising my cholesterol) the first time I ordered it at a tiny campus vegetarian restaurant in Austin. Now, thanks to the recently expanded Orient Market on Orchard and Emerald streets in Boise, I finally have a diamond-corrugated ham log of my very own. But if you're too timid to invest in an entire pillar-candle-sized log ($7.99), pop into Baguette Deli, a Vietnamese sandwich shop adjacent to Fred Meyer on Orchard Street, and try a veggie ham sandwich. You'll cry "we, we, we!" all the way home.

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