This past weekend, I popped down to Anaheim for Expo West, a 4-day natural products convention that draws in over 2000 vendors and 60,000 participants. There were more businesses there than you could shake a stick at, but one in particular changed my view on vegan food.
I”m a meat eater. I like dairy. I eat gluten, and I will do just about anything for sweets. With that said, I”m open to any sort of diet that improves one”s quality of life.
Still, I really like burgers. A lot.
Towards the end of the expo, I was feeling tired and a little hangry. I happened upon Harbor Creek Farms, which was serving up different kinds of delightful, bite-sized calzones – mac & cheese, northwest mushroom, and Brazilian black bean, to name a few.
Two guys serving the food waited until I wolfed down a mac & cheese calzone to tell me that what I just consumed was 100% vegan.
Whuck?! But that tasted like mac & cheese. And the cheese was convincingly cheesy!
My reaction was so entertaining that the gentleman asked me to reenact it. So, after making sure my hair looked good (it didn”t. I”d had a long day), I did my very best. For good measure, I had another to remind myself how delicious the calzone was, with its flaky phyllo dough and perfect portion of mac & cheese in the center.
Its founder, Jim Lustig, told me that he switched to a vegan diet after having four heart attacks. Meat, according to his story on the company site, had caused a plaque build-up, requiring triple-bypass surgery. Seeing how limited his options were, Ludwig used his background in catering and hospitality to start HCF. in addition to producing all-natural vegan products, the HCF sets aside a porition of the company”s profits to feed the homeless through community meals and job training.
Right now, Harbor Creek Farms food is only available in the north west, but here”s hoping that one omnivore”s reaction will lead to an expansion of sorts.