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To prepare a red meat burger, according to the UN Environment, around 3,140 liters of water are needed. This organization also mentions that a ‘plant based’ or vegan hamburger needs 75% less water than a traditional one. That is why more and more people decide to choose to consume options made 100% of plant origin. In Lima, there is a great offer. We found some regular, good and exceptional. In the last group, we have a venture that celebrated its first year a month ago called La ReContra.
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Paco Silva, marketer and publicist by profession, and Ana Karina Rodríguez, publicist, worked together in an agency. However, as it happened with many people in our country, they were fired during the first quarantines. It was thus that this couple decided to undertake. Paco, who had already done several tests of vegetable meats and sausages, was convinced that what Lima needed was a dark kitchen that prepares chicken or meat-type burgers that are capable of conquering even the most carnivorous.
Since they worked in the advertising agency, Paco and Karina, they sold breakfasts as an extra income and they did quite well. His friends were happy eating triples and plant-based patties. They were already beginning to notice that their duo could be successful. “I’ve been cooking for people for as long as I can remember. From the age of 7”recalls Paco Silva, who found in Ana Karina a perfect ally, since he is in charge of the kitchen and training the team and she sees all the sales, numbers and customer service.
“We are ultra happy cooking. We spent a lot of time perfecting a meat for hamburgers. We wanted to do a ‘vegan KFC’ because we missed it and we made it. With the beef type burger it took us a little longer to find itPaco adds.
Since they are both publicists, they wanted everything to be perfect. Not only the plates, since they wanted the image and the designs to be attractive. For this reason, they remember that the project began in July 2020 but only on December 6 of that year did they launch “into the pool”.
“We created the boxes and they were saved. We wanted to make it perfect, we wanted everything to go well. As we are publicists, we felt that we had more pressure for the ‘packaging’. We were afraid of what people were going to say about us.” comments Ana Karina. “We had created brands for our clients so we wanted ours to be as good as the ones we had done before.Paco adds.
In the end, it turned out better than expected. Not only were the clients happy with all the work in its graphic line and ‘packaging’, the food stood out and the “word of mouth” publicity, or as it is now “from story to story”, began to attract new clients.
Creation of vegetable meats
LaRecontra uses seitan in the preparation of chicken-type burgers and nuggets. Seitan is made from gluten, which is the wheat protein that is obtained after processing. This input, widely used in vegan cooking, can be bought as such or it can be made from wheat flour.
“The creation of the recipes were accidental. My first career was gastronomy and there I obtained a lot of knowledge”, indicates Paco. He learned a lot in cooking school, but explains that not all techniques can be brought from traditional to vegan cooking.
“For me, my dad is the best chef in the world and he has taught me a lot, but it was frustrating when I became vegan and a lot of things didn’t work out for me because I needed to learn other techniques.”he adds.
The young publicist took a course at The Plan Based Institute, a vegan cooking school led by chef Santiago Santolalla to relearn. “I go in to learn again about basic sauces and vegetable meats“, bill.
Paco remembers that he did many tests until he achieved the result he has now and of which he feels proud. Ana Karina was always very honest with him, she remembers that he cooked and she tried everything. But she wasn’t always convinced by what she ate, so Paco refined the preparation even more until they succeeded.
“We didn’t know there were different types of gluten. When you go shopping, you ask for gluten and the seller gives you what he has, but not everyone reacts the same“, Add.
Young vegans are sure that even though they have the right recipes and combinations for their burgers, they wouldn’t be as tasty if it weren’t for the bread they come with. The breads are from Dipastry, a bakery that has managed to bring out a vegan brioche bread that is soft with a perfect crumb.
As for the news, the version of the beef burger will have a change. Now, it will feel like “ground beef” because it will be made from pea protein. “Is awesome. When you bite into it it feels like meat, and that one is no longer made of seitan like the “chicken” ones we have”Karina adds.
“It is gratifying to see how people who are not vegan order our burgers. Some have been banned from meat because of their cholesterol or because of some disease. Others ask for it out of curiosity and end up loving them. And when they write to tell us that they liked it a lot, for us it is an achievement because we know that that hamburger could have been an animal. It’s amazing because some frequently askPaco explains.
The plant world continues to reinvent itself, La ReContra is an example of this. As for their menu, they have a large number of hamburgers and chicken-type pieces. If you accept my recommendation -because I have tried almost all of their menu since they opened last year- the Crispy (s/25) is one of the ones that yes or yes you should try. This one comes with a juicy, crispy chicken burger with coleslaw on top that is amazing. Of course, all the hamburgers come with fries and two sauces, whichever you choose.
Other burgers that could become your favorite are the Classic (s/26), the Cheese bacon (s/29) and the Big R (s/34). These last two come with bacon made by them and are very strong.
If you don’t like hamburgers and their nuggets and chicken-type pieces have caught your attention, they have several combos that contain non-crispy chicken and spicy nuggets. Prices range from 25 soles for one person to 67 soles to share with the family.
Finally, in the accompaniments they have crispy onion rings that are accompanied by four sauces, and potatoes with melted cheese and vegan bacon. The latter is delicious.
A study by UN Environment and the University of Michigan indicates that to produce 312 red meat burgers, 60,937 plant-based “burgers” could be produced. The difference is abysmal. Now, you have one more reason to try ones made from seitan or peas. Enjoy your meal.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 12 pm – 10 pm
Average ticket: 30 soles