Boca…Morningstar… Gardein. These are the top brands of today’s veggie burger. But, how did this popular plant-based patty get into the mainstream market?
It all started in a basement in the Paddington neighborhood of west London. There, a teenager named Gregory Sams opened up SEED, a macrobiotic restaurant, in the late 1960s. Sams featured seeds, of course, on his menu, including sesame and sunflower. He offered organic rice, unleavened bread, and specials like seaweed. It was here that Sams created the first-known veggie patty, although at the time, he called it “vege” patty.
“He’d make seitan by kneading flour under a running tap for a half hour, flavoring it with tamari, mixing it with adzuki beans and oat flakes, and forming a patty out of it,” according to Smithsonianmag.com.
During this time, vegetarianism was not common. Not eating meat was for hippies. But, a decade later, plant-based eating became more mainstream and restaurants like seed became popular.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono might have also contributed to the popularity of macrobiotic diets and plant-based eating too, since they became regulars at Sams basement restaurant.
Sams went on to create the first commercial “vegeburger” with a combination of four ingredients — “wheat gluten, sesame, soy and oats.” He sold his restaurant business and entered the commercial food world with Realeats Company in 1982. Soon, the brands we know today started to spring up and veggie burgers or “vegeburgers” (as they were called) have now become a dominating plant-based product in the refrigerator aisle.
Try making some of your own veggie burgers like Sams did. Click below for 15 veggie burgers to create. And here’s another 5 more to give it a go. Learn how to make the perfect veggie patty — without it falling apart — here! Who knows? You might just create the next veggie burger sensation.
Lead Image Source: Veggie Burgers: 15 Recipes, Countless Benefits