By Louisa Moss, PRO, Vegetarian Society of Ireland
Louisa: Delighted to hear that there will be new Irish made products suitable for vegans and vegetarians available soon, and looking at your website, the products look great! Well done to you both. What was the moment that you decided to go for it and develop the products?
Aisling: Thank you, it’s been a long year of working out what we could make and what vegetarians really wanted and most importantly making it as delicious as possible. It’s been hard work but really, it’s mostly been fun. I dare not complain about constantly being fed samples as Gav slaves away in the
kitchen. We have been working on a number of vegan foods that developed organically through Gav’s experiments. He is an excellent cook. Actually, when we first met, he promised me he would master a vegan bacon for me. He kept his promise. He’s constantly impressing me more and more with his culinary creations. We realised after working on a vegan cheese, that we had been making meat alternatives at home that not only made us happy but
impressed our omni friends and family. So much so, they put in requests regularly and a good friend of ours even has vegan barbeques! It made sense to share our Moodley Meats with the vegetarians and vegans of Ireland.
They’re too tasty to keep to ourselves.
Louisa: So, what sparked the idea was because it was difficult to find a vegan meat replacement in supermarkets here? What is the main ingredient?
Aisling: Gav was omni when we first met and he was so disappointed whenever we went out for dinner or lunch. One day, I had just handed my dissertation in for my final year and we wanted to celebrate. As usual, he rang around in advance to find somewhere we could have a nice lunch. We arrived at a garden centre restaurant which was beautiful but there wasn’t a single meal suitable for vegans. He will tell you that was the day he knew he had to change the situation. I agreed wholeheartedly and it’s been an ongoing process. Firstly we began by advocating for vegans and vegetarians. Then secondly, educating restaurants and cafes. We then created our social community, Moodley Manor where we put up the ‘Vegan Alert’ section where we shared vegan options in restaurants, some surprisingly vegan products in everyday shops etc. Then we started working on creating new and exciting foods and we have now a range developed which will be launched throughout the year. In our Badass Bacon and Boss Burgers, the main ingredient is wheat protein (also known as vital wheat gluten). We differ from the other meat alternatives because we don’t use any dairy products. Just delicious umami flavours and textures that honestly, make me giddy with excitement every time I have a meal.
Louisa: Have you been vegetarian/vegan for long? Who was veggie first? Tell us a little about your journey.
Aisling: I’ve been vegetarian for over seventeen years and vegan (with the occasional slip to vegetarianism) for the last five years. It’s only since meeting Gav that being 100% vegan was easy. He transitioned to vegetarianism a short while after meeting me and also after his dad developed heart issues
which really made his decision to become vegan clear. He has been 100% vegan since the 1st of January this year and I’m so proud of him. He wrote his full story on our blog and it’s great to be able to tell the story especially to other people considering veganism. Sometimes, it just needs to be shown that it is possible and more importantly – deliciously enjoyable.
Louisa: When do you hope to have the products available for delivery? They are available to buy online from your website?
Aisling: We can’t wait to deliver our first batch. We are taking orders now until May 20th or sooner if we reach our target of 2000. Then it’s all steam ahead, making the products and delivering within about a week. They’re available right now on MoodleyManor.com/MoodleyMeats. We want to be nationally available on shop shelves and restaurant tables and we need the support of the wonderful vegetarians and vegans of Ireland to do this. This first batch will get us nationwide and allow us to make being vegan and vegetarian easier and tastier. Our motto is ‘All Taste … No Sacrifice’. We can’t wait till this is the reality.