Friday, January 18, 2019

Meatless Mondays: Field Roast Factory

How exactly do you roast a field? David Lee will show you.

During my adolescent stage of veganism, I ate more than my fair share of questionable meat substitutes. Products that taste, look, smell and feel way too much like the meat they are mimicking. Products that simply would not exist without the use of modern science. Thankfully, I have since found a new form of “I’m too lazy to make something from scratch but don’t want to leave the house” food. I wouldn’t call Field Roast a fake meat, though the roast netting might lead you to believe so. David Lee, the founder and owner of Field Roast explained that they don’t put any unnecessary effort into making their food taste like something it’s not. It’s not meat. It’s Field Roast. And they have found a way to make it delicious without the use of any magic or technology you couldn’t find in your own kitchen.

Field Roast Sausages

Field Roast Sausages

The Field Roast factory lives in a historic building on Jackson and 14th, just north of the ID. They offer tours to the public Monday through Friday – so you don’t have to take their word on where your food is coming from, you can see it for yourself. On this tour you will learn that wheat gluten, the chewy, meat-like ingredient found in many meat substitutes including Field Roast, is made through the simple act of kneading flour into a ball under water until the protein separates from the starch. You will see the five-foot mixing bowls and watch the Field Roast mixture stuffed into it’s plastic coating just like a pork sausage casing. You will see a few of the 38 employees overseeing and interacting with every single step of the process – everything is created by human hands. Hand-made, packaged and labeled, Field Roast products are certifiably robot-free. No five syllable ingredients, no top-secret-do-not-enter areas, no trickery whatsoever. There is no part of the ingredients or factory tour that will confuse or scare you. Unless your afraid of piles of sausages. In that case run for your life.

Smorgasbord of Field Roast

Smorgasbord of Field Roast

In their 15 years of operation, the Field Roast team has perfected many a mouth watering recipes. From roasts to sausages to deli meats to frankfurters, they have nailed it each and every time. Oh and those delicious coconut and hazelnut crusted vegan cutlets you get at your favorite veggie spots? Those are Field Roast too. They have taken the simple philosophy that food should be… simple, and applied it to every aspect of their operation. It’s amazing to think that back in 1997 when people were buying fat-free Snackwell’s cookies and Thighmasters, David Lee started selling something completely different: food. And he didn’t need an infomercial to explain how to use it. For holding true to their values through all the ridiculous trends, I award Field Roast a decade and a half of points, which equals approximately ninety-four million.

Field Tip: A little vegetarian birdie told me that Field Roast will be introducing a burger to their product line soon. Take your tour at the right time and you might just find out how they’re made.

Field Roast| 1440 Jackson Street, Seattle | 1-800-311-9497

Photography by Jessica Aceti

About Josie Keeney

In 2008 Josie James Keeney became the first person to move from Colorado to Washington. She moved here on a whim for a copywriting job at an advertising agency called Wexley School for Girls and currently works at Starbucks as a Senior Copywriter on the Global Digital Marketing team. She eats… food. After spending half a decade going back and forth between veggie and vegan, eating way too many chemically enhanced, fake meat, soy and fried products - she now has a new perspective. It’s slightly less black and white, slightly cleaner and heavy on that warm happy feeling all food should give regardless of dietary denomination. She also plans on being on the cover of People magazine within one year of writing for Seattleite, just like her predecessor, Catherine Giudici.
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