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What to Make With ‘Vrimp,’ Nestlé’s Cursed New Shrimp Substitute

How many vrimps do you have to eat // before you make your skin turn pink? // eat too much and you’ll get sick // vrimps are pretty rich

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An overhead photo showing a bowl of Nestlé’s imitation shrimp product, Vrimp, with tortilla chips and lime wedges.
Ah yes, a colorful bowl of vrimp and chips.
Nestlé

Tuna might be the chicken of the sea, but it’s safe to say vrimp is the vicken of the — Shit, sorry, I blacked out for a minute there. Let me try again. You’ve obviously heard of shrimp, that small decapod crustacean that tastes uncannily like, you know, shrimp. But I bet you haven’t gotten your hands on, ahem, [triple checks notes] vrimp. Made by Nestlé, the mom and pop company known for making chocolate and also being accused of using child slave labor to produce said chocolate, Garden Gourmet Vrimp is not only an incredibly cursed name for a meat alternative, but also adds to the company’s growing roster of non-meat products. Because of course, Nestlé is also responsible for the unforgivable offense that is creating a fish-replacement called… Vuna.

It’s true that our oceans are being overfished to the point of killing entire ecosystems and threatening all who rely on them, and huge parts of the shrimp and seafood industry continue to rely on slave labor to operate. So maybe Nestlé’s disturbingly-named inventions are a net positive, moving us away from mass-reliance on meat and seafood. It’s possible vrimp is exactly what the vworld needs now, but it would be great if it wasn’t being produced by the very same mega-company that has taken advantage of terrible labor conditions to make its other products. But that’s vapitalism, baby.

You might be too busy thinking about how vrimp is one of the least appealing food words you’ve ever heard to think about the politics of vrimp. Or maybe you are so excited that you too have blacked out several times while reading this short news story. Well don’t worry my succulent vrimps, I’ve laid out a whole vrimp menu just for you. Granted, the shrimp-shaped mixture of seaweed and peas isn’t actually available yet, and according to the Guardian, when it does go on sale, it will first be in Swiss and German supermarkets. So send this to your Swiss cousin! Or just make the trip! I’m sure it’s worth it.

Without further ado, Five Vays to Vibe with Vrimp (a menu).

  1. Vrimp Risotto: You’re on a third date. Everything has gone so well up till this point, and you decide it’s time to pull out all the stops. It’s time to feed your date vrimp risotto by candlelight. The most difficult part of this recipe (which I will not be providing, for fear that a recipe developer will sue me for suggesting you substitute shrimp for vrimp), is that you will have to find a sexy way to tell your date that they’re about to dig into some juicy vrimp. If you can keep up the sexual tension after uttering those words, you can do anything. Anyways, see you back on Grindr soon.
  2. Grilled Vrimp Skewers: The really tough thing about grilling food on skewers is that, often, the skewers burn up before the food has had the chance to cook. I can’t say I’ve taken vrimp on a test-drive, but I don’t have a great feeling about seaweed + peas + direct fire? At least you won’t have to apologize for all the smoking and smoldering at your next cookout. It’s not your fault! Just tell your friends “I think the vrimp melted.”
  3. Vrimp Cocktail: Often, when food is at its freshest, the best way to serve it is simply. Let the ingredient shine. Don’t obscure its flavor with all sorts of unnecessary seasonings and cooking methods. When shrimp has been freshly plucked from the sea, it needs little more than to be poached, and balanced on the rim of a glass with — I am actually realizing now I have no idea what that red sauce is [Editor’s note: In the U.S., cocktail sauce is typically horseradish mixed with ketchup, with possible additional ingredients], but damn it’s delicious. It stands to reason, then, that vrimp is best cold, straight out of the package, dunked in cocktail sauce. [Another note: This is not Eater’s official position on Vrimp, as Eater does not actually have an official position on vrimp. If you take this writer’s advice and try cold vrimp, please do not contact this writer or publication.] I’m running out of energy, as I have yet to get my daily serving of vrimp, which according to Nestlé, is “a source of fiber.” Nevertheless, in the pursuit of great journalism, and in service to my readers, I will push forward.
  4. Vrimp Vra Diavolo: I wonder what Giada De Laurentiis thinks of vrimp. I bet she loves it. How could any purist, a student of Italian cuisine, not love vrimp? So in the name of Giada, and Italy, and all that is good and pure, toss your vrimps in a bowl with crushed red pepper, before adorning them with a rich sauce of white wine, tomatoes, and garlic. Don’t you even think about adding sugar to your sauce. We’re purists here, after all.
  5. Vrimp Scampi: The New York Times recipe for shrimp scampi has almost 8,000 five-star reviews which, if I had to take a guess, means nothing could possibly go wrong if the shrimp is substituted for vrimp. All you’ll need is garlic, white wine, crushed red pepper flakes, chopped parsley, pasta, and the wherewithal to claw your way forward. Oh yeah, and about two pounds of large or extra-large vrimp, shelled.

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