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San Francisco’s Greek Souvla chain is the first to serve vegan lamb in the country


Starting October 20, vegan lamb will be available at all four locations of Souvla, a popular Greek restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area. Made by local startup Black Sheep Foods (BSF), vegan lamb is added as a fifth protein option alongside existing lamb, pork, chicken, and roasted white sweet potatoes. Made with pea protein and patent-pending flavorings based, Black Sheep Lamb is available in bite-sized pieces and can be ordered as part of Souvla’s signature sandwiches and salads.

The simple menu at Souvla hasn’t changed much (or at all) since it opened in 2014 until now. “We have purposely never changed the menu since our inception, so this is a monumental, forward-looking moment for Souvla,” said Charles Bililies, Founder and CEO of Souvla, in a statement. “We haven’t had to find any plant-based meat that makes sense for our restaurants, but when we tried Black Sheep Foods we felt it was the right time to add a plant-based offering to our menu. We are thus expanding our vegetarian menu, which we are happy to offer our guests. ”

This launch marks BSF’s first product debut and its vegan lamb will be on the menu in all Souvla restaurants. The innovative vegan meat will also be available for local delivery (via Caviar and DoorDash) and national delivery via Souvla’s Goldbelly kits. In addition, Bililies will continue his relationship with the startup by joining BSF as a consultant.

Vegan lamb: the first step towards democratizing hereditary breeds

The concept for BSF was founded in 2019 by tech entrepreneur Sunny Kumar and biochemist Ismael Montanez. While companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have nailed plant-based beef, pork and chicken, BSF aims to fill a white void in the plant-based industry by recreating meat from traditional animal breeds, starting with Black Sheep Lam, which is made by Tunis, a New Zealand lamb variety.

By creating plant-based versions of these traditional breeds, BSF also democratizes game meat, which is often inaccessible to most consumers due to its rarity and the resulting high price. “Our eating habits are supply chain driven, which means we eat animals that grow the fastest, not the ones that are tastiest,” said Kumar in a statement. “At Black Sheep Foods, we want to accelerate the adoption of plant-based meat by making plant-based alternatives more palatable than commercial animal meat, not just mimicking them.”

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In collaboration with chef Jason Dickerson, BSF spent two years perfecting their vegan lamb through analytical chemistry and redesigning the flavor profile of game meat from the ground up. The result is a vegan lamb that has the same game flavor and texture as its animal counterpart, without the need to slaughter a lamb. Aside from being a cruelty-free lamb option, Black Sheep Lamb is much greener, consuming 98 percent less land, producing 95 percent less CO2, and using half the water compared to commercially raised lamb.

After its exclusive launch at Souvla, BSF will be expanding its vegan lamb to other restaurants in the Bay Area in six weeks.

For more information on plant-based meat innovations, visit:

Grocery chain in Iceland launches vegan lamb kofta and pulled pork
This vegan meat is made with microbes found in Yellowstone Park
3D printed vegan steak hits the market in 2021

Photo credit: Nicola Parisi / Souvla

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