Bon Appetit's meat-free 'Bread Steak' recipe baffles Twitter users

‘One of the dumbest things I’ve ever read’: Bon Appetit writer’s recipe for ‘meaty’ vegetarian ‘bread steak’ that is made from cheese-crusted sourdough leaves the internet in uproar

  • On June 23, the food magazine tweeted a link to a recipe for David Tamarkin’s vegetarian Bread Steak
  • Tamarkin, who stopped eating steak, said it can be ‘downright meaty’ and is better than cauliflower steak
  • Sourdough is soaked in a milk, egg, and salt mixture, pan-roasted, topped with Parmesan, and finished in a broiler

A Bon Appetit recipe for ‘Bread Steak’ — a salty, savory French toast — has been met with skepticism on the internet.

On June 23, the food magazine tweeted a link to a recipe for David Tamarkin’s vegetarian Bread Steak, which the writer said ‘hits the spot when a slab of cauliflower just won’t cut it.’  

But while some commenters have conceded that it looks like a pretty tasty grilled cheese, most have argued that it is most definitely not ‘steak’ — with some going so far as to say the claim that it could substitute for meat makes them angry.

Controversial: A Bon Appetit recipe for ‘Bread Steak’ — a salty, savory French toast — has been met with skepticism on the internet

‘It’s fatty. It’s salty. And if you do it right, it’s downright meaty,’ Bon Appetit tweeted.

The magazine included a photo for the dish, which is a ‘custard-soaked, Parmesan-crusted chunk of sourdough’ that has been topped with vegetables.

Meet the chef: David Tamarkin, who doesn’t eat steak, said his bread dish can be ‘downright meaty’ and is better than cauliflower steak

Tamarkin explained that that he stopped eating steak for environmental reasons, but still craved it, and cauliflower steak doesn’t scratch that itch.

So his ‘carnivore’s palate’ let him to a bread dish that he pan-roasts and then crisps in a broiler after soaking it in milk, eggs, and salt.

‘When the bread is ready, it’s browned and crusty on the outside and, just like a perfectly cooked piece of beef, reveals a tender center when cut open,’ he said.  

Twitter users, however, are not quite convinced this can be called ‘steak.’ 

‘I do not know why the term “bread steak” is making me violently angry but here we are,’ wrote one.

‘I think the timeline is going off the rails again,’ tweeted another.

‘This is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read in my life,’ argued a third.

Writer Mollie Goodfellow shared screengrabs with he comment: ‘Sorry but absolutely not, this is just toast, I’m not having it.’

‘It sounds like very delicious toast but it is not a steak! there are so many meat alternatives out there now, just buy one of those if you want a steak!!’ one commenter said.

‘That’s maybe a grilled cheese but nothing more,’ wrote another.

Some commenters did seem intrigued, but made it very clear they would consider it as a breakfast or grilled cheese dish — but never a steak substitute.

Bon Appetit does still share meat recipes, and last week offered a list of grilling tips featuring a photo of real, meaty steaks.

But in April, its competitor Epicurious announced that it had cut out beef from its recipes, social media posts, and articles.

The Conde Nast brand wrote: ‘Abstaining from beef means we can use our resources to focus our recipes on more climate-friendly foods. 

Where’s the beef? In April, competitor Epicurious announced that it had cut out beef from its recipes, social media posts, and articles

‘This decision was not made because we hate hamburgers (we don’t!). It’s about sustainability and being pro-planet,’ the editors wrote 

‘Our hope is that the more sustainable we make our coverage, the more sustainable American cooking will become.

‘If you’re looking for ways to lower your personal carbon footprint, abstaining from beef is a straightforward and effective way to do it.’ 

They added: ‘We know that some people might assume that this decision signals some sort of vendetta against cows — or the people who eat them. But this decision was not made because we hate hamburgers (we don’t!). It’s about sustainability and being pro-planet. 

‘Our mission is and will always be the same: to inspire home cooks to be better, smarter, and happier in the kitchen. Follow the link in our bio to learn more.’ 

Epicurious said it had already began using fewer beef recipes. It has also been pushing for its readers to use substitutes, though old recipes featuring beef will not be removed from the site. 

Tasty! Giovanni Randolph, 27, shared his unique recipe for BBQ faux-ribs on Twitter earlier this year

Earlier this year, Giovanni Randolph, 27, went viral for images of his shockingly realistic vegan BBQ ‘ribs’ that look just meat — but are actually made with bread. 

The Floridian, who has been vegan for four years, used wheat gluten as the base for the ‘ribs’, adding aminos, tahini, and an herb and spice blend for the dish. 

According to Giovanni, the recipe starts with seitan — also called wheat gluten — which is made by washing wheat flour dough with water until all the starch granules have been removed. This leaves a sticky elastic mass of gluten, which resembles the texture of chewy meat.  

Giovanni also added aminos, tahini, and a secret blend of herbs and spices for the dry rub.

He cooked the ribs on a grill and added BBQ sauce right before serving up the meal.

‘Threw some vegan ribs on the grill over the weekend,’ he captioned the snaps, which amazed and baffled social media users.  

How to: Giovanni, who has been vegan for four years, used wheat gluten as the base for the ribs, adding aminos, tahini, and an herb and spice blend for the dish

Open-minded: He said that he only learned what veganism was in 2016 and decided to embrace it himself in 2017

Fooled ’em! Social media users are stunned by the photos. The tweet has since gone viral with more than 20,000 likes and hundreds of comments

‘I feel bamboozled to say the least,’ wrote one person. 

‘We eating good tonight,’ a fan said, while someone else chimed in that the dish looked ‘incredible.’

‘This looks really damn good, actually. Good to see more and more alternatives looking just as tasty as their counterparts,’ another wrote.

Even animal charity PETA got involved, commenting: ‘Wow, you almost had us worried there for a second.’ 

Giovanni told Jam Press that he had never even heard of veganism until 2016, but he has since embraced the animal-free lifestyle.

‘I went vegetarian as my 2017 New Year’s resolution and after three months of that I decided I might as well go vegan — and I haven’t looked back since,’ he said.

Skeptics: Although the unique recipe drew plenty of attention from vegans and non-vegans alike, not everyone was sold

Although the unique recipe drew plenty of attention from vegans and non-vegans alike, not everyone was sold.

A few people criticized the main ingredient and reduced the recipe to simply being ‘BBQ dough.’

‘You mean bread with some barbeque sauce? That’s not ribs,’ one person wrote.

Another person warned: ‘If I bite into ribs and it’s just seasoned bread, someone’s getting hurt.’

‘You baked a cake lol,’ someone else joked.

Others were rattled that Giovanni referred to the food as ‘ribs’ when no animal products were used in the recipe.

‘Seriously, if you don’t want meat then why go through all the effort to make it look like meat?’ one person asked.

‘That charring looks amazing, but the word “ribs” is not an accurate representation of what it is,’ said another person, while one more wrote: ‘Vegans wanna eat meat so bad, it’s sad.’

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