Even though more diners are seeking out both vegetarian and vegan options, they won’t trade down on the flavor experience. Answering the call, the California Walnut Board developed a flavor-forward walnut “chorizo,” blending California walnuts, walnut oil and chorizo spices. “It is a completely vegan meat substitute that does not lack in flavor,” says Adam Moore, consulting chef. “It can be used in a variety of menu parts from breakfast to dinner, and enhances the recipe by creating depth of flavor and texture.”
At a recent chef summit, Seattle Marriott Redmond’s Executive Chef Daniel Yates saw the potential for the walnut “chorizo” and ran with it. His Queso Fundido with California Walnut “Chorizo” is one of his best-selling vegetarian items.
Moore points out the versatility of the walnut “chorizo,” suggesting its use with vegetarian versions of potato skins, nachos, empanadas, tacos and shepherd’s pie. He also suggests adding chickpeas to the walnut mixture for an even meatier texture.