Can ‘vegan shrimp’ compete with real fish? We do a blindfolded taste test to find out

Introducing: Vrimp!

It’s a word I hope will never be the answer on Wordle and the shorthand term for vegan shrimp.

And while the word is fun to say, does it really hold up to the gold standard of decapod crustaceans?

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How we taste-tested vegan shrimp against the real thing:

We compared two cocktails — both alike in many ways, except one has fake shrimp, and the other is real.

We figured the best way to get to the bottom of whether vegan shrimp was actually tasty was to do a blind taste test. We wanted to see if I could even tell the difference between the two.

How to make a shrimp cocktail at home:

The following instructions don’t apply to vrimp because they come ready to eat.

First, buy some deveined shrimp and make yourself a large bowl of water with ice.

Combine salt, sugar and water into a large saucepan with lemon juice — or lemon halves if you’re fancy. And after bringing it to a boil, add the shrimp and cook for around 2-3 minutes.

Then, put the shrimp in the ice water to cool off.

For the cocktail sauce, mix chili sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, horseradish, pepper and hot sauce in a small bowl.

The results of the blind taste test:

Unfortunately, I could tell the difference immediately and was not impressed. Vrimp is not something I enjoy eating, especially compared to shrimp which never fails to satisfy me. Even drenched in cocktail sauce, vegan shrimp just doesn’t have the texture or consistency of shrimp and tastes off.

Ultimately, this could still be a viable option for vegans who either want to fit in with shrimp-eaters or crave a shrimp cocktail. But for shrimp lovers, stick to the original.

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