As a Jewish kid growing up in New Jersey, deli sandwiches were a way of life. And Reubens were my favorite. A Reuben sandwich consists of corned beef piled high on Jewish rye with sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing, and cheese.
When I went vegan years ago, I tried veganizing this sandwich at home and got pretty close – but there was no real vegan corned beef on the market. And you need corned beef to make this sandwich happen.
Well, like Celine says: A new day has come!
I was shopping at my local vegan market this week and saw that they just started carrying vegan corned beef by Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli. I was intrigued. This is the first time I’d ever seen a brand making vegan corned beef – I had to try it. The cashier assured me of the purchase, “This stuff is next level.” It was a steep $18 for a pound, but if it really tasted like corned beef I remembered from my childhood, it would be well worth it.
Before lunch today, I went out and grabbed Jewish rye, the Thousand Island dressing by Follow Your Heart, and sauerkraut. I was eager to give this Unreal Deli meat a try. First, let me just tell you, that when I took the corned beef out of the package, it is really similar to the color and the texture of animal-based corned beef. Unlike other vegan deli meats, like the ones by Tofurky and Field Roast, this is sliced super thin. It’s almost delicate.
And how does it taste? Fucking amazing! I don’t know how Mrs. Goldfarb does it, but her vegan corned beef – which is fashioned from wheat, chickpeas, beets, and tomatoes – is eerily and wonderfully just like the deli meat I remember. Needless to say, my sandwich was a major success.
Last year, I wrote about my favorite vegan deli meat substitutes, but Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli is really in a class by itself. If you don’t live in Los Angeles or your local market doesn’t stock it, you can buy it online via the website – but like I said before, this stuff ain’t cheap.