Sunday, March 23, 2008

Branded Meat Substitutes

I have mentioned before that I collect vegetarian cookbooks from different times and places and in different languages. A number of these are from the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, mostly in English with a few in French. As well as physical books, this subset is augmented by books scanned into Google Books (though their subject categorization is as sloppy as the rest of their meta-data).

The rise, at the end of the 19th century, of food faddism in general, and vegetarianism in particular, involved an interest in the scientific planning and production of food. It also coincided with modern production and brand marketing. This relationship is particularly clear in the early history of cold breakfast cereal.

One result of this is that a number of these cookbooks include recipes calling for, and advertisements offering, processed vegetarian foods, particularly protein sources. Some of these are recognizable as brands in the modern sense, with patented processes and/or trademarked names. Others are just new names for a public domain process. For instance, Mrs. Kellogg's Healthful Cookery lists all the Battle Creek Sanitarium products that are called for in the recipes earlier in the book. The British Manual of Vegetarian Cookery has ads with similar lists.

The natural question is, what exactly are these products?

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G. K. Chesterton, for whom Orthodoxy was quite literally the basis of his creed, was always ready to apply his wit against middle-class non-conformists. His poem about “Higgins the Heathen” wonders why those without faith would display conventional morality. The coincidence of vegetarianism and teetotaling led him to wonder why a “Logical Vegetarian” would not drink these pure vegetable drinks. To be fair, Chesterton, an Anglican who converted to Roman Catholicism and Distributist, maintained a lifetime friendship with George Bernard Shaw, vegetarian, teetotaler, atheist turned follower of some mystical version of Bergson's Creative Evolution and Fabian Socialist. They engaged in a series of public debates with a civility rarely found today. Chesterton wrote a biography of Shaw, whose Introduction consists of this:

Most people either say that they agree with Bernard Shaw or that they do not understand him. I am the only person who understands him, and I do not agree with him.

Shaw himself reviewed the book in the Nation (reprinted in the Sep. 12, 1909 NYT), calling it, “the best work of literary art I have yet provoked,” but substantially disputing its accuracy.

But this blog is not about religion or politics, so I will stick to the vegetarian angle. In the Dec. 4, 1909 Illustrated London News, Chesterton wrote an essay titled “Honesty in Vegetarianism” arguing generally against the idea, joking “I am a vegetarian between meals,” and specifically against vegetarian dishes modeled after meat ones:

I will eat nuts with any man—or with any monkey. But they must be nuts—not nutton, or nutter, or nusco, or nutrogen, or nuttolene, or nuttose, or nutarian Cashew. (Collected Works, Vol. XXVIII, p. 437)

Obviously, these are all foods made from nuts. The vegetarian meal that Bloom recalled, “Why do they call that thing they gave me nutsteak? Nutarians. Fruitarians.” (8.539 — on vegetarians in turn-of-the-century Dublin, see here) is more generic; nut-steak warrants an OED subentry. But these nut- terms are specific, even brand names.

The September, 1904 issue of Sunset magazine included the following poem by Ruth Comfort Mitchell:

To a Health-Food Girl

Hail to thee, Granola Maid!
Kumyss cheek and silken braid,
Flower blooming in the shade
  Of the Protose tree;
Pious bearing, modest mien,
Hail, my Vegetarian Queen,
Hail, my healthy Nuttolene,
  Zwieback fairy, thee!

Set my Glutose spirit free,
Lift they Meltose eyes to me,
Say thou'lt be my Bean Puree,—
  All my cares beguile;
Sway me with they grace imperial,
Say thou'lt be my Flaky Cereal,
Beam on me, while charms ethereal
  Sterilize thy smile!

See, thy Granut tear-drop start!
Swear that we will never part,—
Give to me thy Whole Wheat heart,
  Let the skeptics scoff;
'Round thy waist my strong arm clinches,—
This is where my spirit flinches,
For thy waist is forty inches—
  Let us call it off! (p. 489)

Some of these health-foods were imports, rather than new inventions. Kumyss (that is, kumis) is fermented milk, traditionally mare's milk among the Turkic peoples of the steppes. In Mongolian, it is ᠠᠢᠷᠠᠭ airaγ, apparently from Arabic عرق ʿaraq 'sweat', that is, arak. Tolstoy relied on the “koumiss cure” at various times; for instance, he writes in his Confession:

бросил всё и поехал в степь к башкирам - дышать воздухом, пить кумыс и жить животною жизнью. (here)

I threw in everything and left for the steppes of the Bashkirs to breathe fresh air, drink koumiss and live a primitive life. (tr. Kentish)

Kellogg briefly offered the Sanitarium's own version of kumis, known as kumyzoon. Zwieback can usually be found in the cracker aisle of the supermarket. But what of the rest, with newly made-up names?

To make some sense of all of these, I have put together a small glossary of these vegetarian products and the best determination I have been able to make for what they were made of, how and by whom. A blog post is not the best medium for this, but it is a decent way to get started. I fear that just dumping it as a work in progress into Wikipedia would only invite a mess or deletion.


albene: [< albus 'white'?] A vegetable fat. Edinburgh Medical Journal. Coconut butter? A Comprehensive Guide-book to Natural, Hygienic & Humane Diet.

alnut: Some kind of nut meat. Compendium of Food-microscopy. See nutmeat.

avenola: [< avena granola] Sanitarium breakfast food made from oats and wheat. Science in the Kitchen. See granola.

artox: Whole wheat flour. “so treated that the sharp, irritating particles of the bran, so prevalent in the ordinary meal, are rendered harmless and capable of digestion by the weakest stomach.” Cf. Graham flour, where different parts of wheat are ground separately. Reform Cookery Book.

atole: [< atole] Seasoned dried corn. Vegetarian Society of America.

beurréose: Coconut butter. Hubert. See nucoline.

brazose: Nut meat from brazil nuts. Produced by Pitman Health Food Company. Reform Cookery Book. A Manual of Vegetarian Cookery.

bromose: Nut meat with malted nuts. Produced by Kellogg's Sanitas Nut Food Company. Compendium of Food-microscopy. “A combination of predigested nuts and cereals.” Reform Cookery Book. Sanitas ad. See nutmeat.

carnos: Beef extract substitute. Malt extract of barley. A Comprehensive Guide-book to Natural, Hygienic & Humane Diet. Reform Cookery Book.

cocoaline: Coconut butter. Hubert. See nucoline.

cocoïne: Coconut butter. Hubert. See nucoline.

cocolardo: Coconut butter. Coconut Research Institute of Ceylon. See nucoline.

cocoline: Coconut butter. Coconut Research Institute of Ceylon. See nucoline.

cocose: Coconut butter. Hubert. See nucoline.

cocotree: Coconut butter. Hubert. See nucoline.

diamond butter oil: Cottonseed oil. Vegetarian Society of America.

ervalenta: [< Ervum lens] Lentil flour. Pharmaceutical Journal.

fibrose: Some kind of nut meat. Mapleton's. Reform Cookery Book. See nutmeat.

Fromm's extract: Crushed nuts with cellulose and excess oil removed. A System of Diet and Dietetics. Vegetarian Society of America.

fruitosia: Nut butter, nut meal and dried fruit. Guide for Nut Cookery.

frutose: Nut butter and fresh fruit (bananas). Guide for Nut Cookery.

glutose: Some kind of syrup?

gofio: Sanitarium breakfast food made from parched grains. Science in the Kitchen. See granola.

granola: Kellogg's version of granula. Not the same as modern granola.

granose: Graham flour flakes. Kellogg's Corn Flakes before corn.

granula: Granules of Graham flour. Wikipedia.

granut: =? granuto. The Living Temple. “A Vegetarian Menu.”

granuto: Some kind of Sanitas wheat cereal, “predigested,” so probably porridge-like. Healthful Cookery. Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

ko-nut: Coconut butter. See nucoline.

lac vegetal: Almond milk. Kellogg profile.

lactine: Coconut butter. Coconut Research Institute of Ceylon. See nucoline.

ko-nut: Coconut butter. Vegetarian Society of America. See nucoline.

kornules: Breakfast cereal. Ixion. Reform Cookery Book. The New Age.

kunerol: Coconut butter. Reinhardt. See nucoline.

laureol: Coconut butter. Coconut Research Institute of Ceylon. See nucoline.

legumon: [< legume nutton] Finely ground peanuts. Reform Cookery Book. See nutmeat.

malted nuts: Milk substitute of ground almonds and peanuts in emulsion with malt syrup. Produced by Kellogg's Sanitas Nut Food Company. Kellogg profile. A System of Diet and Dietetics.

maltol: Some kind of Sanitarium product with maltose. The Living Temple. Sanitarium price list.

marmite: Brewers yeast paste. Wikipedia.

meatose: Some kind of nut meat. Reform Cookery Book. Good Food. See nutmeat.

meltose: Sanitarium's maltose syrup. “malt honey.” The New Dietetics. Home Book of Modern Medicine.

nucoa: Oleomargarine. Coconut oil, peanut oil and milk. Congressional Hearing. Vintage billboards. eBay.

nucoline: [< nux 'nut'] Coconut butter. Jamaica Dept. of Agriculture. Before hydrogenated vegetable oils, one of the few vegetable oils solid like butter at room temperature. According to The Oil Conquest of the World's chapter on margarine, when coconut oil was first sold as cocoanut-butter, there was the possibility of confusion with cocoa-butter, that is, cacao-butter, a by-product of chocolate manufacture, so Francis H. Loder, son of Francis W. Loder, of Noder and Nucoline, began insisting that it be spelled coco-nut and never cocoa-nut. (Of course, this, the modern spelling, was always an alternative, but somewhat less prevalent at that time.)

nusco: Some kind of nut product?

nutcoa: Coconut butter. Vegetarian Society of America. See nucoline.

nut cero: Nut meat. Produced by St. Helena Sanitarium Food Company. The Home Dietitian. See nutmeat.

nutcysa: Nut meat. Produced by Nashville Sanitarium Food Company. Internal Medicine. See nutmeat.

nutarian: [By analogy with vegetarian and fruitarian] So nutarian lard or nutarian cake. R. Winter's Nut Butters: Nutarian Almond Margarine, Nutarian Walnut Margarine, Nutarian Cashew Margarine, Nutarian Table Margarine, Nutarian Cocoanut Margarine. Reform Cookery Book.

nutfoda: Nut meat. Produced by Nashville Sanitarium Food Company. Internal Medicine. See nutmeat.

nutgrano: Grain and nut butter. Guide for Nut Cookery. See nutmeat.

nutmarto: Potted paste. Produced by Pitman Health Food Company. Reform Cookery Book. A Manual of Vegetarian Cookery.

nutmeal: Some kind of savory nut meat. Compendium of Food-microscopy. See nutmeat.

nutmeat: Various kinds of canned nut loaf: ground nuts, nuts proper or peanuts; plus flour, usually wheat. Compendium of Food-microscopy. Modern recipe.

nutmeato: Nut butter and corn starch. Guide for Nut Cookery. See nutmeat.

nutmeatose: Some kind of nut meat. Reform Cookery Book. Guide for Nut Cookery. See nutmeat.

nutmese: Peanuts ground and steamed. The Laurel Health Cookery. See nutmeat.

nutora: Steamed nut butter. Guide for Nut Cookery. See nutmeat.

nutose: See nuttose.

nutrela: Soy granules, TVP. Modern version.

nutrex: Coconut butter. Coconut Research Institute of Ceylon. See nucoline.

nutrogen: Nuts and milk food? Reform Cookery Book. But Food and Feeding in Health and Disease says like wintox.

nutrose: Nut meat from peanuts. Compendium of Food-microscopy. Food and the Principles of Dietetics. See nutmeat.

nuttene: Nut fat. Chapman's Health Food Stores. Reform Cookery Book. Coconut butter?

nutter: [< nut butter] Usually coconut butter. See nucoline.

nuttolene: Nut meat pâté. Produced by Kellogg's Sanitas Nut Food Company. Peanuts and seasoning. Commerce Dept. ruling. Kellogg profile. Substitutes for Flesh Foods. Modern versions are just peanut loaf. See nutmeat.

nutton: [< nut mutton] Finely ground blended nuts: almond, cashew, pine kernel, and walnut; no peanuts. Reform Cookery Book. See nutmeat.

nuttose: Veal-like nut meat. Produced by Kellogg's Sanitas Nut Food Company. Peanut paste thickened with a bit of flour. Commerce Dept. ruling. Kellogg profile. Ad for diabetics. See nutmeat.

nutvego: Some kind of savory nut meat. Reform Cookery Book. See nutmeat.

nutvejo: Some kind of savory nut meat. Compendium of Food-microscopy. Reform Cookery Book. Ad; another. See nutmeat.

nuxo: Nut gravy. Reform Cookery Book.

odin: Beef extract substitute. Malt extract of barley. A Comprehensive Guide-book to Natural, Hygienic & Humane Diet.

palmin: Coconut butter. Reinhardt. See nucoline.

penole: [< pinole] Seasoned dried corn. Vegetarian Society of America.

placomeat: [< place o' meat?] Sandwich biscuits. Produced by Pitman Health Food Company. Reform Cookery Book. A Manual of Vegetarian Cookery.

plasmon: Powdered casein and baking soda. “Vegetarian Restaurant in London.” Failures of Vegetarianism.

protose: Beef-like nut meat. Produced by Kellogg's Sanitas Nut Food Company. Peanuts with wheat gluten. Commerce Dept. ruling. Kellogg profile. Modern recipe using other starches. See nutmeat.

provost nuts: Cereal of wheat, barley and malt. Reform Cookery Book.

prunus: “The rapid flesh-former.” Reform Cookery Book.

revalenta arabica: [< ervalenta] Lentil flour. A System of Diet and Dietetics. Pharmaceutical Journal. Burton's Pilgrimage.

savita: Vegetable bouillon for gravy, made from brewers yeast. The New Dietetic. See marmite.

sovex: Paste of soy sauce and brewers yeast. Modern version.

taline: Coconut butter. Hubert. See nucoline.

trumese: Wheat gluten and peanuts steamed. The Laurel Health Cookery. See nutmeat.

végétaline: 1. karité = Shea butter. Landor. 2. Coconut butter. Hubert. See nucoline.

vegex: Vegetable bouillon, made from brewers yeast. The New Dietetic. See marmite.

vegsal: Vegetable soup. Produced by Pitman Health Food Company. Ad.

vegsu: See vejsu.

vejola: Some kind of savory nut meat. Reform Cookery Book. Advice for serving The Vegetarian Guest. See nutmeat.

vejos: Vegetable extract. Vegetarian Society of America.

vejsu: [< vegetable suet] From coconut oil. Jamaica Dept. of Agriculture. I suppose the processing must be slightly different from nucoline; perhaps partial hydrogenation to raise the melting point.

vigar: Some kind of concentrated vegetable stock? Vigar Brawn, tomato and clear, served cold; Vigar Gravy Essence. Produced by Pitman Health Food Company. Reform Cookery Book. A Manual of Vegetarian Cookery.

vijex: Some Adventist product. Noted in a list of them in American Speech.

wheatena: Sanitarium breakfast food made from wheat. Science in the Kitchen. See granola.

wintox: Vegetarian beef tea subtitute, made from malted grain. Reform Cookery Book. Food and Feeding in Health and Disease.

4 comments:

Melissa.Danielle said...

A Danish company sells Nuttolene in a can. Vegalicious posted about it, but I couldn't find it on their site.

Isa said...

This is amazing.

avegancalledbacon said...

Just found your blog as I'm researching the same subject. Love it! Hope you keep posting this year.

One to add to your list: Emprote or "EM Proteid Food"

Eustace Miles was an athlete and slightly batty self-publicist with his own London restaurant. You can find lots of articles by him in the New York Times archives. From an early 20th century advert:

The idea behind "Emprote" - the Eustace Miles Proteid Food - is that, being a blend, in powder form, of various kinds of proteid (the proteids of milk, of wheat, and so forth) it supplies the right kind of substitute for flesh foods not only because it is so easily assimilated, but because it is in a very convenient and easily kept form.

Anonymous said...

Hi-I just came across a digitized menu for a 19th century vegetarian restaurant through the University of Houston digital library and got curious about many of the meat substitutes listed -all of which you have here. Thanks for the research! I hope to look into this further.