The Flying Duck now puts on a vegan fete; its organisation used to be more sporadic, but due to its popularity it’s now put on on a monthly basis. As a venue, the Flying Duck aptly suits the layout of the fete, the bar area providing an intimate and casual atmosphere to tuck into some vegan goodies whilst enjoying a pint.
The first noticeable aspect of the fete is the easy-going atmosphere of the event. Each stall seemed eager to show off their goods as stand alone items, not trying to preach moral good, instead saying ‘try this because it is tasty.’ This idea very much linked into the first stall I visited, ‘Cool Jerk Vegan Pies’ who were providing a match day alternative to the tradition scotch pie. Here they gave me what they believed was their most interesting item, a vegan pulled pork pie. Made with jackfruit, I was amazed that they were able to recreate the texture of pulled pork so effectively, and while it did not have quite the same taste, it was still good enough to finish in one go. However, the difference between texture and taste was to be a recurring one. I bought a vegan steak from to bring home, and while it had the same chewy texture, I was unable to finish it just because of the completely bizarre taste. If anything, the texture was so strange in comparison to the taste that it was almost unnatural. I felt the same way about almost all of the savoury food on offer. Whilst their creativity is admirable there is just something slightly off about vegan ‘meat.’ It just isn’t possible to replicate the same taste.
However, the same cannot be said about the sweet items. The vegan chocolate is some of the best out there; made with around 80% cocoa powder it just tastes delicious, especially the chocolate tinted with orange. The vegan doughnuts were possibly the highlight, their flavours better than anything from Greggs or Krispy Kreme. All in all, the event’s creativity was admirable and the fete managed to create a friendly vegan community in Glasgow for vendors to share ideas about how to improve their food. There is a lot of promise in their progress. However, for me, the taste just isn’t there in a lot of their goods just yet.