Editorial vol.2 by Chae Yun Shim


The Considerable Impact
of a Simple Cake


For those teetering on the edge of vegan dining


Editorial vol.2 by Chae Yun Shim


The Considerable Impact of a Simple Cake

For those teetering on the edge of vegan dining


While preparing for PLEATSMAMA’s first editorial—“Consciously Innocuous”—this past June, the source material I used helped me better understand the relationship between maintaining a vegan diet and protecting the environment. However, as someone who decided to be “open to veganism,” I have been encountering a substantial amount of difficulty in the process of incorporating new types of vegan food into my meals.

A common stereotype about vegan food is that it “doesn’t taste good.” Although there were certainly delectable items on the list of items I tried, some dishes seemed to reinforce this prejudice against vegan food in my mind. Yet, labeling a certain dish as unappetizing just because I didn’t enjoy it seemed unjustified—an easy mental recourse based on vapid overgeneralizations. Realizing that it was more appropriate for me to conclude that I was not yet fully accustomed to certain flavors, or the lack thereof, in vegan recipes, I sought out vegan food more suitable for my own palate.

What I stumbled across was the category of “vegan desserts.” These desserts are made without eggs, milk, whipped cream, butter, or any type of animal product. Instead, the ingredients usually consist of domestically cultivated wheat, such as ahnjeunbengi wheat; domestic grains, vegetables, and fruit; and other healthy components, such as unrefined sugar, soy milk without additives, rice bran oil, and homemade vanilla extract. Visually, vegan desserts show no discernible difference when compared to conventional desserts and even tend to exceed the latter in terms of taste. Even people who had no previous interest in adopting a vegan diet would not be able to deny the rich, alluring flavors offered by these alternatives.

Thus, this month’s editorial will feature a handful of desserts found in some of the local vegan bakeries around the PLEATSMAMA office, along with firsthand accounts from members of the PLEATSMAMA crew*. Hopefully, this issue will spark an interest in those who aren’t vegans but are teetering on the edge of trying out vegan food for the first time.


*At PLEATSMAMA, employees refer to each other as crew members


[1]
Potato Tomato Muffin


The first dessert I would like to introduce is the potato tomato muffin, which is made of cherry tomatoes and freshly harvested potatoes.
🥔
The red cherry tomatoes on top make the muffin all the more visually appetizing while each fluffy bite is packed with the scent of potatoes.
🍅
The unique combination of the two ingredients produces a piquant, yet clean flavor—one I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting before in a muffin.

🙋 Crewmember Newgun:
The muffin reminded me of the potato rice cakes I used to have when I was little. The potato flavor was stronger than what I had expected.
👩 Crewmember Seaflo:
I especially liked the muffin’s scent of black pepper. The use of tomatoes and asparagus made me feel like I came to an Italian restaurant.


[2]
Kabocha Chestnut Rice Cake Cube


The kabocha chestnut rice cake cube looks rustic and quite plain at first glance. However, once cut open in half, it reveals a lovely surprise.
🌰
While the subtle flavors of kabocha go along well with those of the chestnut rice cake, the scent of the sweet squash lingers with each bite.
🍞
Furthermore, although it may look like a small loaf of bread, the chewy texture is a constant reminder that the cube is closer to being a rice cake than the average cake or dessert bread. Lastly, as it is quite filling, the cube can easily work as a meal replacement.

🙋 Crewmember Newgun:
It’s a dessert choice that’s not too heavy. The cute inner portion of the rice cake made me look at it over and over again.
👩 Crewmember Seaflo:
It’s perfect for someone like me who doesn’t enjoy food that is too stimulating. It’s a flavor I think I’ll have a craving for from time to time.


[3]
Chocolate
Banana Cake


The last dessert I want to mention is the chocolate banana cake.
🍫
Made with vegan soy milk, valhorna cocoa powder, and full of ripe banana slices, the cake exudes sweetness.
🍌
The rich cake is perfect for those in need of a sugar rush and pairs well with a soy or conventional latte.

🙋 Crewmember Newgun:
Visually, it looks like something you would find in a normal cake shop. I was very surprised to find out it was vegan.
👩 Crewmember Seaflo:
Definitely something I like to call a “4 p.m. dessert,” which is exactly what you need when you’re craving something sweet toward the end of the day. It being a healthy alternative is not only a given, but also a big plus.



Simple but Considerable


After I stepped up to the challenge of dabbling in a vegan diet, I couldn’t help myself from thinking about other types of food. However, some of the delicious dishes and desserts I tried not only lowered the previous mental barriers precluding me from enjoying vegan food, but also widened my perspective, ultimately allowing me to view the category with less prejudice. No longer does a vegan diet simply equate to eating insipid greens and vegetables in my mind. Furthermore, the fact that certain ethical factors are now weighed and considered when I pursue my regular habit of consuming desserts fills me up with a great sense of pride.

This process takes a lot of time, experimentation, and will power. Despite veganism palpably gaining momentum as a movement in different parts of Korea, there are still hurdles to overcome—just as I experienced firsthand—when people try to effectively incorporate elements of a vegan diet into their daily lives. Finding the right type of vegan food that is not only palatable, but also suitable for one’s own body is a concern that is not dismissed lightly.

Regardless of these roadblocks, we must collectively strive to be open to veganism. As mentioned in the previous issue, the meat industry only falls behind fossil fuels in terms of being one of the biggest causes of environmental deterioration. Even a 10% reduction in the global consumption of meat can positively effect climate change, cut cases of animal abuse, and mitigate the number of deadly diseases. Veganism protects animals and the environment, while positively affecting one’s own well-being.

A sudden transition to a plant-based diet is difficult to implement and can oftentimes feel forced. It’s the same as trying to completely cut off cheesy pizza or fried chicken when one decides to go on a diet. That’s why pacing is important. Instead of giving into the pressure of having to rigidly adhere to a vegan lifestyle, I suggest taking a step-by-step approach. How about starting off by looking for vegan food you can enjoy, using that as a basis to gradually develop a sensitivity toward relatively non-violent eating practices? I assure you that the category of vegan desserts will act as a reliable companion for you in this process, just as it did for me. A simple cake can have a considerable impact—both on the individual and the environment. 

While preparing for PLEATSMAMA’s first editorial—“Consciously Innocuous”—this past June, the source material I used helped me better understand the relationship between maintaining a vegan diet and protecting the environment. However, as someone who decided to be “open to veganism,” I have been encountering a substantial amount of difficulty in the process of incorporating new types of vegan food into my meals.

A common stereotype about vegan food is that it “doesn’t taste good.” Although there were certainly delectable items on the list of items I tried, some dishes seemed to reinforce this prejudice against vegan food in my mind. Yet, labeling a certain dish as unappetizing just because I didn’t enjoy it seemed unjustified—an easy mental recourse based on vapid overgeneralizations. Realizing that it was more appropriate for me to conclude that I was not yet fully accustomed to certain flavors, or the lack thereof, in vegan recipes, I sought out vegan food more suitable for my own palate.

What I stumbled across was the category of “vegan desserts.” These desserts are made without eggs, milk, whipped cream, butter, or any type of animal product. Instead, the ingredients usually consist of domestically cultivated wheat, such as ahnjeunbengi wheat; domestic grains, vegetables, and fruit; and other healthy components, such as unrefined sugar, soy milk without additives, rice bran oil, and homemade vanilla extract. Visually, vegan desserts show no discernible difference when compared to conventional desserts and even tend to exceed the latter in terms of taste. Even people who had no previous interest in adopting a vegan diet would not be able to deny the rich, alluring flavors offered by these alternatives.

Thus, this month’s editorial will feature a handful of desserts found in some of the local vegan bakeries around the PLEATSMAMA office, along with firsthand accounts from members of the PLEATSMAMA crew*. Hopefully, this issue will spark an interest in those who aren’t vegans but are teetering on the edge of trying out vegan food for the first time.


*At PLEATSMAMA, employees refer to each other as crew members


[1]
Potato Tomato Muffin

The first dessert I would like to introduce is the potato tomato muffin, which is made of cherry tomatoes and freshly harvested potatoes.
🥔
The red cherry tomatoes on top make the muffin all the more visually appetizing while each fluffy bite is packed with the scent of potatoes.
🍅
The unique combination of the two ingredients produces a piquant, yet clean flavor—one I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting before in a muffin.


🙋 Crewmember Newgun:
The muffin reminded me of the potato rice cakes I used to have when I was little. The potato flavor was stronger than what I had expected.
👩 Crewmember Seaflo:
I especially liked the muffin’s scent of black pepper. The use of tomatoes and asparagus made me feel like I came to an Italian restaurant.



[2]
Kabocha Chestnut
Rice Cake Cube

The kabocha chestnut rice cake cube looks rustic and quite plain at first glance. However, once cut open in half, it reveals a lovely surprise.
🌰
While the subtle flavors of kabocha go along well with those of the chestnut rice cake, the scent of the sweet squash lingers with each bite.
🍞
TFurthermore, although it may look like a small loaf of bread, the chewy texture is a constant reminder that the cube is closer to being a rice cake than the average cake or dessert bread. Lastly, as it is quite filling, the cube can easily work as a meal replacement.


🙋 Crewmember Newgun:
It’s a dessert choice that’s not too heavy. The cute inner portion of the rice cake made me look at it over and over again.
👩 Crewmember Seaflo:
It’s perfect for someone like me who doesn’t enjoy food that is too stimulating. It’s a flavor I think I’ll have a craving for from time to time.



[3]
Chocolate Banana Cake

The last dessert I want to mention is the chocolate banana cake.
🍫
Made with vegan soy milk, valhorna cocoa powder, and full of ripe banana slices, the cake exudes sweetness.
🍌
The rich cake is perfect for those in need of a sugar rush and pairs well with a soy or conventional latte.


🙋 Crewmember Newgun:
Visually, it looks like something you would find in a normal cake shop. I was very surprised to find out it was vegan.
👩 Crewmember Seaflo:
Definitely something I like to call a “4 p.m. dessert,” which is exactly what you need when you’re craving something sweet toward the end of the day. It being a healthy alternative is not only a given, but also a big plus.



 Simple but Considerable -

After I stepped up to the challenge of dabbling in a vegan diet, I couldn’t help myself from thinking about other types of food. However, some of the delicious dishes and desserts I tried not only lowered the previous mental barriers precluding me from enjoying vegan food, but also widened my perspective, ultimately allowing me to view the category with less prejudice. No longer does a vegan diet simply equate to eating insipid greens and vegetables in my mind. Furthermore, the fact that certain ethical factors are now weighed and considered when I pursue my regular habit of consuming desserts fills me up with a great sense of pride.

This process takes a lot of time, experimentation, and will power. Despite veganism palpably gaining momentum as a movement in different parts of Korea, there are still hurdles to overcome—just as I experienced firsthand—when people try to effectively incorporate elements of a vegan diet into their daily lives. Finding the right type of vegan food that is not only palatable, but also suitable for one’s own body is a concern that is not dismissed lightly.

Regardless of these roadblocks, we must collectively strive to be open to veganism. As mentioned in the previous issue, the meat industry only falls behind fossil fuels in terms of being one of the biggest causes of environmental deterioration. Even a 10% reduction in the global consumption of meat can positively effect climate change, cut cases of animal abuse, and mitigate the number of deadly diseases. Veganism protects animals and the environment, while positively affecting one’s own well-being.

A sudden transition to a plant-based diet is difficult to implement and can oftentimes feel forced. It’s the same as trying to completely cut off cheesy pizza or fried chicken when one decides to go on a diet. That’s why pacing is important. Instead of giving into the pressure of having to rigidly adhere to a vegan lifestyle, I suggest taking a step-by-step approach. How about starting off by looking for vegan food you can enjoy, using that as a basis to gradually develop a sensitivity toward relatively non-violent eating practices? I assure you that the category of vegan desserts will act as a reliable companion for you in this process, just as it did for me. A simple cake can have a considerable impact—both on the individual and the environment.




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