Lupin, The Other Soy Meat

Photo - The New York Times

Last January I wrote about De Vegetarische Slager (The Vegetarian Butcher) and his lupin-seed-based “meats” from the Netherlands. Just under a year later, the New York Times is reporting that Jaap Korteweg’s business is exploding, having “expanded its reach into 45 restaurants and retailing outlets across the Netherlands, with two more in the pipeline.”

Lupin "Meat" -

Mr. Korteweg grows organic lupin as a food crop. In October last year, he and two partners, Marco Westmaas, a chef, and Niko Koffeman, an animal rights politician, opened De Vegetarische Slager, or The Vegetarian Butcher, in The Hague, selling vegetarian meat substitutes. In the year since, it has expanded its reach into 45 restaurants and retailing outlets across the Netherlands, with two more in the pipeline.

Alongside conventional soy-based products, De Vegetarische Slager promotes its own line of lupin-based meat-free foods, including lupin “meatballs” and croquettes and a lupin-flour bread.

Lupin has been shown to be superior to soy in myriad ways – from higher protein content to a lighter toll on the environment, to a better ability to grow in cool climates. It’s only a matter of time before lupin “meats” start popping up in the United States.


Written by joshuakatcher

Joshua Katcher is an adjunct professor of fashion at Parsons The New School. His research focuses on sustainability and ethics in fashion production. He started The Discerning Brute in 2008 as a resource for men who want to make intelligent decisions concerning their lifestyles. With a focus on “fashion, food & etiquette for the ethically handsome man”, The Discerning Brute produces expert, essential content and boldly takes a stand. Brave GentleMan, the integrated, eCommerce brother-site of The Discerning Brute was launched in 2011 and features “principled attire” and “smart supplies” handpicked for informed indulgence.
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  • Myra Esoteric

    Aren’t those things dangerous unless you soak them for a long time, like you could get cassava poisoning from them?

  • Monique

    HI there – this shop is in my hometown, The Hague! It is true that some of their products are not vegan. However, their primary aim is to appeal to flexitarians by giving them the opportunity to consume a meat-like product. This country is very much a meat, potatoes and dairy-centric so this is big progress!

  • Aster

    I checked “De Vegetarische Slager” out after you mentioned it, only to find that heir “gehaktbal” was soy-based and had egg in it. Very little of their products are vegan. According to my father they tasted quite meat-like, and my mother refused to eat them for that reason. I’m just sad that another great concept just falls short of its potential by still using animal products. Also: who needs fake meat when there’s homemade tofu and lentil-burgers. Well, maybe some people, but I’m not one of them.

  • karoumy

    I looked at his website when I first heard about it and again just now and as far as I can tell most of the products are soy based.

    Lupini beans themselves are a great snack.  

  • Jmclennan13

    It is sort of like  the Quorn idea-but sadly not much is vegan:(….

  • Vanessa

    Where or where can I try this in NYC??