on Homemade Seitan

Brian Palmer at Slate has a wonderfully written article praising the many favorable qualities of seitan:

Wheat gluten is, admittedly, dangerous to some people and anathema to the many, many more who believe they have a gluten sensitivity. Sales of gluten-free foods continue to accelerate, forcing food industry analysts to upwardly revise even their optimistic projections.

So why should you zig while the rest of the country is zagging? Like many of the foods people tell you not to eat, gluten is delicious. Its texture is somewhere between tofu and meat—chewy but not bossy. Broiled or baked, it can serve as the center of a meal. In a sauce, it won’t hide in the background like that culinary Zelig, tofu. Honor the sacrifices of the celiacs among us by celebrating your own robust digestive health with a huge plate of seasoned gluten.

Palmer then offers detailed instructions for making seitan at home—a laborious task to say the least. But he ends the piece with this exhortation:

Is it worth the cost in time and toil? The question seems almost absurd at this point. There are people out there wasting entire afternoons making dry cakes topped with execrable fondant to look like the Chrysler building. Or baking marbled ryes that are just as good from a neighborhood baker. By that standard, making your own gluten is more than worth it. Your end product will be vastly superior to anything you can buy at the store, and at a fraction of the price.

Sign me up! Link.