Tired of rubbery and tasteless "meat substitutes"? FolkFoods, one of the Burlington Farmers' Market's hot new properties, has the answer: flavorful, locally made veggie breakfast patties and "crumbles." To add extra zest to the mix, co-owners Jason Frishman and Shana Witkin also sell a spicy concoction called "master sauce." Explanation: Fans think the sauce is so versatile, it can be used for pretty much anything.
Although Frishman is a self-described "conscious carnivore," cooking for the meat-free is one of his passions; his wife Witkin sticks with seafood. During a stint at Veggie Planet in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Frishman acquired the necessary cooking skills. How does he test his recipes? "If my diehard meat-eating friends finish something and don't say, 'That would be better with steak,' I keep the recipe," he explains.
In addition to offering samples of the products they carry, the duo also whips up a selection of tasty treats for hungry market-goers. The veggie crumble gets an infusion of taco seasoning for their "breakfast wrap." The bits are rolled in a flour tortilla with egg, cheddar, salsa and black beans. Another filling fave is "the Ruby," a vegetarian twist on a Reuben. The savory griddle sandwich, served on toasty-golden Klinger's bread, perfectly pairs a FolkFoods veggie patty with local sauerkraut, cheddar and apples. A touch of master sauce-enhanced dressing gives it some kick.
The twosome do their R&D at the Vermont Food Venture Center in Fairfax, and they plan to add new items to their product line as soon as they "get some breathing room." Currently, they both work nearly full-time at other jobs. Frishman is a psychology fellow at Fletcher Allen, while Witkin works at Penny Cluse Café.