As Good as Meat
© TMBW, Andreas Weise
Handmade Vegan Burgers and Filets
The Freiburg start-up Sin Carne Schwarzwald produces hand-made plant-based alternatives to burgers and tenderloin – and the gastronomy scene couldn’t be happier.
This is how the story begins: four young people occasionally meet up during the pandemic to cook together – mostly vegan, because that’s the lowest common denominator. But because they all like the flavour of meat, they regularly serve vegan burgers, patties and other ready-made products. These really didn’t taste too bad, but they created way too much packaging waste for the friends’ liking, and what’s more, the ingredients frequently came out of a chemistry set. The young economist and hobby cook Bianca Blum thought: “If I can buy it in the supermarket, I’m sure I can make it myself”.
The Idea of Sin Carne
Vegan Filet for Gourmets
The basic idea for Sin Carne Schwarzwald was born – artisan plant-based alternatives to meat specialities we all know: tenderloin, burgers, even kebabs. The start-up isn’t interested in imitations, but in creating an equivalent alternative to well-known meat products. “We initially wanted to open a vegan butcher’s”, says Bianca, laughing. “But then we realized that it would be better to focus on production, so as not to make it too complicated”. And that has now worked well for eighteen months, with the result that top restaurants, country guesthouses and international food stalls in Freiburg are now serving the start-up’s products. And the list is growing.
pure, authentic taste
Without Chemical Additives
What makes Sin Carne so special is that the vegan products forego flavour enhancers, stabilizers or emulsifiers – instead, the manufacturers experiment with spices, wheat protein and pulses. You can buy their creations in supermarkets in the region too, but the small business has primarily been enriching the restaurant scene in Freiburg for a year now. Plain cooking, too, has benefited. For example, the “Omas Küche” (Granny’s Kitchen) café and restaurant now has top-quality meat-free burgers and the restaurants at the traditional Schloss Reinach hotel serve vegan Schlossberg tenderloin. Johannes Gessler, the manager there, is very pleased indeed with the partnership: “Sin Carne Schwarzwald are making exactly what we have always looked for”. He says that his wife and sister-in-law have both been vegetarian for a long time – and that he thinks good meat-free meals are worth the money.
A passion for vegan cuisine
A Craving for Hearty Food
Frying and flambéing, creating sauces, experimenting – sous-chef Oliver Fritsche is a man of few words, but he is strikingly happy with the vegan products and is always trying out something new. His meat-free dishes taste so good that diners who order, for example, the vegan burger, without noticing the “Sin Carne” designation, sometimes only realize that something is different when they’re actually eating. Different, but definitely not worse. “We want to provide both cooks and consumers with an equivalent product to meat”, explains Bianca Blum, who – like the other three members of the founding team – has so far been working on Sin Carne Schwarzwald as a sideline. She loves to hold passionate discussions with the Freiburg restaurateurs, cooks and her circle of friends about whether vegans actually need meat substitutes. Some people feel that, if you eat a plant-based diet, you should be happy with vegetables, fruit and nuts. “I think it’s offensive to tell vegans that they shouldn’t want to eat things that taste of meat. For people who eat a vegan diet, it’s mostly an ethical decision, but they can still want something hearty”. In addition, not all the people in the target market for their products are necessarily vegan. “Often, they’re just people who don't want to order beef, pork or fish. For health reasons, or because they’re concerned about animal cruelty. Or because it is undoubtedly better for the climate. And we really want to give these people the experience they’re looking for”.
Fellow-founder and diet coach Matthias Turk adds: “This isn’t about replicating meat, even though we are giving our creations the usual meat names. People would be confused if they saw “round plant discs” instead of “burgers”. All the studies indicate that it’s difficult to give new names to vegan products. And why should we?” Anyone who wants to quibble will always find something, Reinach MD Johannes Gessler believes. Everything suits him. He enjoys collaborating with the company. There are no supply chain problems. Quite the opposite: “If we ever find ourselves tied up, Bianca and Matthias bring over currywurst, even on Sundays”.
☀ More hand-made foods from the Black Forest
☀ Chocolaterie Lisa: Lisa Rudiger has 40 different chocolates and as many chocolate bars for sale in Titisee-Neustadt. Or maybe you fancy a chocolate walnut spread? | lisas-chocolaterie.de
Want to BRowse More
You Might Also Be Interested In