Quorn is pretty ubiquitous on Swedish menus as a vegetarian option, and since it comes in meaty shapes, it is pretty easy to slide in with the ‘daily special’ menu and make everything else the same. It is the kind of thing vegetarians who miss meat probably eat… most of it is imitating meat: Tex-mex ground beef flavoured or Italian roast chicken flavoured, or ginger stir fry steak tips flavoured. I like the plain Quorn fillets, which have the shape of a chicken breast cutlet but don’t taste like chicken. Sometimes we have ‘Swedish dinner’ with mashed potatoes and veggies, and Graham has some frozen meatballs and I defrost a Quorn fillet. (Graham defrosts the meatballs too, in case you were wondering). It has a lot more flavour (mushroomy?) than tofu so is nicer than serving up a tofu brick.
Quorn is mycoprotein, cultivated under pretty controlled conditions a long way from the money’s mushrooms barns in Abbottsford. I thought it must be a new product since I never saw it in Canada or the US, but apparently it has been around a long time and just never took hold in North America due to *corporate intrigue.* The gardenburger people didn’t want to compete with quorn, so they asked the FDA to investigate ‘mycoprotein’ more heavily since WHO KNOWS what the long term effects are. They also lobbied to remove the words ‘mushroom’ from the package and mandate that ‘mycoprotein’ appear in a minimum size on the label to inform consumers. These tactics worked, the target market was scared off by the science-y-ness of it all, and so no quorn in the US (and I guess Canada by extension, since we are a small market). I think these folks probably buy yeast extract, microscopic organisms is also cultivated under similarly controlled conditions but without an American competitor.
I was surprised to learn that the 20 year patent comes up this year, so maybe there will be some cheaper generic versions of quorn… they might even make it to Canada.