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While perusing my local supermarket, I always keep a lookout for new vegan-friendly products. A surprising realization was seeing a can of refried beans from Goya with a "vegan" label on the front. To begin with, it’s not very often that I see the word “vegan” being displayed in my supermarket so this discovery was a pleasant one!
Looking through the official Goya website, I've found a number of refried beans specifically labeled vegan amidst some of their iconic offerings of beans, seasonings, and more. With no announcement of their newest offerings, I can imagine they may have felt the pressure to change some ingredients to suit longtime Goya fans who love their iconic products and wanted to integrate them into their vegan lifestyle.
More and more companies are making big changes to their iconic offerings to suit vegan demographics which I am all for. A company like Goya, who largely caters to Latin American audiences, making these small changes brings opportunities for families to become more welcoming to veganism by providing more accessibility to veganized cultural foods.
With this change, it got me thinking. If there was anything else I could ever wish Goya would veganize, what would it be?
Perhaps one of my favorite snacks as a child and my most detested once I knew what it actually was, I can’t help but imagine what a vegan salchicha would taste like. One of my favorite childhood memories was being called into the kitchen by my grandma to be given a whole salchicha before she prepped the whole can for the day’s meal. As I fondly think about the different meals I would eat with salchichas (arroz con salchichas was my most favorite!), I’d love to have this alternative available to recreate such a unique taste.
Ok Goya, let’s have a frank discussion about this. One of the most annoying things about veganism is finding out a product is only one ingredient away from being okay to eat. Discos is one of them.
As someone who favors a good pastelillo every now and then, I was excited to recreate pastelillos with all the new vegan meat and cheese alternatives I found. Yet, the dough conditioner found in this product makes it non-vegan. Sure, it’s possible to create your own dough at home, but Goya can make it so easy with just a slight tweak to their recipe.
Most vegans will tell you that one of the things they miss most is cheese. While we do have a lot of great vegan alternatives, I have yet to find a queso blanco alternative. I long for the day that I can enjoy the perfect snack combination that is guava and queso blanco.
While I’m not the biggest fan of vegan meat substitutes, I can’t help but miss the flavor of salchichon. Salchichon is another ingredient that has been an important part of my upbringing, bringing back memories of delicious meals where salchichon was the star. I can’t help but feel a slight envy when I see vegan sausages being sold without an alternative like this one.
Being such an integral part of my culture and a popular brand for latinxs everywhere, Goya has the power to influence a positive change in our communities by becoming creative with newer vegan offerings. Even if I don’t see my wishlist of vegan alternatives come to life, I am happy to know that veganism is being acknowledged within this company and can’t wait to see the impact of this change within my culture and the world.
Have you spotted the new vegan Goya products? What do you wish to see them veganize? Let me know by emailing me at [email protected]