If you were looking forward to getting your fish fix with Whole Foods’ new sushi products, you may be disappointed if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan.
The grocery store’s new sushi is plant-based, made from faux-tuna called ahimi. The fake fish will be used for their nigiri, California roll, and a nigiri and roll combo, which will be available this week in select New York and Los Angeles locations, according to a Whole Foods press release.
The faux-tuna is comprised of peeled tomatoes, which’ve been marinated in water, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. It’s then cooked at low heat for an extended period – though the exact method remains a Whole Foods secret. The resulting product is something that’s meaty, with a umami-rich taste, and a texture not unlike real ahi tuna.
This fake tuna was created by Ocean Hugger Foods, who challenged themselves to create the world’s first plant-based alternative to raw fish. The company was inspired due to overfishing, and the planet’s need for a sustainable alternative to seafood. In addition to sushi, the product can be seamlessly used in ceviche, tartare, poke bowls, salads, and wraps.
If the faux-tuna becomes a hit, Whole Foods will consider adding it to their other locations across the country, USA Today reports.
Currently, Ocean Hugger Foods is crafting another two fish alternatives, set for release in 2018. Sakimi is a salmon substitute made from carrots; unami will be an eggplant-based alternative to eel. Unlike traditional sushi, these plant-based fish goods are safe for vegans, vegetarians, pregnant women, and nursing mothers.
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