Wings are my vice. I love ripping meat off the bone with my teeth. Is there a poem yet about the refreshing feeling of wet naps after wing night? There should be. Before the pandemic, I was known for over-ordering boneless and traditional wings at T.G.I.Fridays. Now, I am constantly fantasizing about the strange delivery opportunities I can encounter from my couch.
My body, however, seems to function better when I avoid cheese, meat, eggs, and aiolis. My small intestine seems more agreeable to sticking with me when I do. Recently, the influx of grocery delivery options coupled with my desire to keep my intestines intact forced my hand into ordering $7.99 Field Roast Fruffalo Wings, aka fake vegan buffalo wings from Whole Foods.
When I saw Fruffalo wings, I knew I had to try them. Not only do I love wings, but I carry hot sauce in my bag, and I take on my acid reflux willingly because I love spice.
As soon as I ordered them, I had lots of questions, like: Do vegan buffalo wings have bones? Do I want them to have “bones?” How will they be shaped? Are they really just adult chicken nuggets? Does Mark Ruffalo eat fruffalo wings? Would he?
When my groceries arrived the next day, I prepared a simple arugula salad and some brown rice to accompany the #veganvibes. I opened up the bag, and all I can say is I was shocked. First, there were maybe ten “wings” altogether. Second, there was a three-ounce frozen sauce packet alongside the “wings.”
As a woman dedicated to journalistic standards, I cannot in good faith call these items “wings” without quotes. Any human would use air quotes to describe them as “wings,” and here’s why.
I tip my hat to the Field Roast team for somehow convincing me to buy their apple sausage cut on a diagonal and calling it a wing. How deceptively clever, you plant-based jerks. Field Roast is pretty much only known for their non-meat sausages, so they thought: “Why complicate things? Let’s take our sausage and make it look like a wing. Ladies and gentlemen, we are looking at a slice of sausage.”
This is procrastination’s finest work. The heads at Field Roast asked for frozen buffalo wings, and after weeks of racking their brains, the head honcho just needed to know that some progress had been made for god’s sake. One guy in a cable knit sweater said, “Why don’t we throw some gluten-free flour and fake butter on our most popular vegan sausage? We could cut the sausages at an angle so they have a flying saucer vibe?” The head honcho debated for a long ten seconds before laughing, “Brilliant! The margins will be incredible!”
With two servings per container, you will undoubtedly feel ripped off when you realize you could have bought the fake sausage yourself and cut them at a diagonal for a third of the price. And what’s more? They list the calories with and without the sauce. Without the sauce, what’s the point, pal?
Described on the bag as both ‘spicy and poignant’ and ‘daring and bold’ — I have to agree what Field Roast did was pretty daring. But the only poignant part of this purchase is the swindle. I feel swindled, and it stings. If I wanted the sausages, I would have bought them.
The bag even includes a pronunciation guide, “Fruff – A – Low,” as if you weren’t sure. The backside of the bag leads with "All American Vegetarian,” and this is exactly the kind of hopeful statement I like to see from a brand. Except as a country, we are not vegetarian. Not even close. We are letting cow farts ruin the ozone, and we are just sitting by. But Field Roast has dreams of an all-vegetarian America. And for that, I am on board. If those dreams start with Fruffalo wings, I’ll eat them this once, but I certainly won’t buy them again.