It looks like a ham, has a slightly smoky taste and is sliced. The American brand Prime Roots has just launched a vegan alternative to ham and a full range of imitation charcuterie and vegetable pâtés. Among these new products are alternatives to turkey, salami or foie gras, and all are made from a key ingredient: konji. This term refers to the result of a noble fungal culture obtained from the fungus Aspergillus oryzae† Originally from Japan, this ingredient is mainly used to make fermented products such as miso or soy sauce.
Prime Roots Vegan Deli Alternatives are designed to be cut and sold individually. According to the brand, this is a world first. The products are already available in the United States: “Instead of relaunching online, we chose to partner with some of the best chefs and delis in the country to offer Koji Deli Meats”, the company reports on its website. In 2020, Prime Roots already launched Koji Bacon, an alternative to pork bacon. The product sold out within hours and more than 50,000 people had signed up for the online waiting list to purchase it.