It looks like meat. It feels like meat. It even sort of tastes like meat.
It's not meat.
This worries me.
Fellow reporter Kamcilla Pillay and I are sitting in a vegan cafe down the road from the International Convention Centre. By meer virture of being journalists, we get free coffee, free wifi, and a free plate of vegan food.
For Kam, this makes sense. She's at least vegetarian, halfway to being a true-blue dirty hippie.
I am a meat eater. I'm planning a biltong-flavoured layer in my best friend's wedding cake. I have theories about the direct proportionality between an animal's cuteness and it's deliciousness.
But it's a plate of free food.
If there's one thing journos can't say no to, it's free food.
Only, the sosatie is playing games with my senses. Everything about it tells me it's meat -- except the video loop in front of us proclaiming that by cutting meat out of our diet, we might just save the world.
"Tofu?" suggests Kam.
I'm willing to accept. It's easier than asking questions.
But tofu can't possibly be the answer for the creamily transparent ball rolling around my plate.
"I'm not actually sure what that is," the vegan media officer says. "Something Asian."
I cover it in soy sauce.
It doesn't help.
I'm imagining dishes from Fear Factor, the kind of dishes that make men cross their legs.
"It's actually really good," says Kam. "Savoury."
I distract myself by relaying my cuteness-deliciousness proportionality theory.
From the corner of my eye, I'm hit by a vegan glare. Maybe not the place.
The vegan media officer comes back to invite us to a vegan gala dinner on Thursday night.