Monday, February 25, 2013


Qreamed Quorn

There’s a blissful moment that I hope you all get the chance to experience. The bliss, that is, and not what leads up to it. It’s a moment when you’ve just dragged your trash out into the hallway, and your kitchen smells like hot Berry Kix, and your stomach is starting to settle again, when you see that bottle of Qream on your counter and think “I’m done.” That your work, whatever its legacy or reception will be, is finished.

But first, to the beginning.

“Anyway GOOD MORNING!” ended the email I got from Edith at 7 a.m. on a recent Monday, in which she alerted me to the existence of Quorn. Yes, Quorn, an actual product. What, did you think we just added a Q to “corn” to be funny? Who does that?

Quorn describes itself as a “naturally occurring, high quality, healthy form of protein” that “has an ability to replicate the taste and texture of meat exceptionally well.” The Center for Science in the Public Interest said in 2003 that Quorn "sickens 4.5% of eaters.” Given that Qream sickens about 100% of drinkers, I’d say this is a step up. Quorn is allegedly named after a town in Leicestershire, founded approximately 806 BQ (Before Qream), so I can’t get angry at it for trying to act all cute by switching out a normal letter for a Q (I’m looking at you, qookies).

But anyway, this is how it had to end. We’d been having too much luck, really. Save for that one snafu which will forever make me curse the existence of self-rising flour, everything has tasted ... fine. No, I would not recreate any of these recipes for my friends, but I could think of plenty worse things to eat than a Peach Qupcake. So it became time to self-destruct. 

Living on Planet Earth means you have to take the good with the bad. Just as Brahma is Creator and Vishnu Preserver, Shiva the Destroyer is necessary, as all things are subject to decay. Thusly, you do not get to have Qream and Quorn existing at the same time without somebody mixing them together. It is what must be. I am here to keep the balance.

I’m sorry I’m even giving you this recipe, but the harmony of the planet is at stake.

Qreamed Quorn

A note before we start: finding Qream, at least in New York City, has turned into a bit of a qrisis. Where once at least three liquor stores in my neighborhood carried Qream, I now had to schlep to a liquor store in Harlem to find it, which was one of about only five places listed in the city that carries it. I can only attribute this shortage to its meteoric rise in popularity after the debut of Qooking With Qream. Still, be prepared to put in a bit of work if for some reason you still want this in your house.

1 12oz. bag of Quorn grounds

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup Strawberry Qream

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon butter

Add 10 oz of Quorn (Yay leftovers!(?)) to a skillet with heavy cream, butter, and sugar. Stir until butter is melted and everything is combined. In a cup, beat flour into Qream, then pour mixture onto Quorn, and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and let stand to firm up, then take a bite and promptly spit into your sink.

Pharrell, if you’re reading this, I don’t think Qream was meant to be a high-end leisure-class drink. There’s a subtlety, a layering of flavors, that it lacks. And the leisure-class doesn’t sit around drinking cereal milk on ice. But you tried, you put your name on something and went out there and fought for it. That’s more than I’ve ever done.

As I write this, the smell is beginning to fade, and I will end up gifting the remnants of that yonic bottle to some friend or just pour it down the sink. And hopefully something else will come along that I have a mad drive to experiment with and write about, but for now I can rest peacefully knowing that I helped make The Hairpin the #3 result when Googling Qream.

Previously: Kahlua Gingerbread ... Gingerbread

Jaya Saxena writes a lot. She thinks Hot Berry Kix would be a good band name.

84 Comments / Post A Comment


So basically you're saying that Qreamed Quron is qrap?

(Thanqs for taqing one for the team, Jaya. It had to be done.)

fondue with cheddar

@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher It looks pretty yuqy.


Truly you do the Lord's worq, Jaya.


I want some.....yummy@n

Lisa Frank

This column is not called Qooking with Qream? What an oversight!

Edith Zimmerman

@Lisa Frank I know -- but then it would "have" to be qalled Qooqing With Qream, and maybe that's too much? But also -- actually, yeah, Jaya suggested that, and I think I'd just dropped the ball the first time. I'm going to go back and fix!

Lisa Frank

@Edith Zimmerman Yea!

Mary Mouse

Don't let this put you off Quorn - it makes perfectly decent vegetarian chili...

no way

@Mary Mouse Or... maybe I'm one of the folks quorn makes sick, but that sickness came in the form of the worst body odor I've ever had. I was afraid for a second I was coming down with that heartbreaking incurable disease that makes folks smell like fish. It was rank and scary.


@Mary Mouse Yeah, Quorn is actually super delish! They make a Quorn cutlet with Gruyere which is really tasty, and their "naked" Chick'n Quorn cutlet things are scrumptch.

Mary Mouse

@no way I'm sorry :( I find it useful when you're considering both vegetarian siblings and the actual contents of cheap ground beef* (*horse)


@Mary Mouse : And Quorn "chicken" nuggets have tasty breading and get all crispy on the outside and really are almost indistinguishable from real ones.


@wee_ramekin Their little turkey thingies make pretty good sandwiches if you roast them covered with olive oil, black pepper, onions and sage.


@Mary Mouse Here is the thing, I am vegetarian partly because meat grosses me out, so I never want people to make fake meat for me. Boca, no thank you. I would like some quinoa, yes, that would be nice.


@Mary Mouse Just adding in to the Quorn love here. Way better taste/texture quality than Boca or Morning Star, and no soy!


@mysterygirl I love making buffalo quorn nuggets! I've even served them to meat-eating friends (I forgot to disclose the veg factor to them b/c I was excited about the recipe) and had them be surprised when I told them it wasn't actually chicken.


@laurel Ooh I make that turkey roastie thing every year on the holidays for my sis and me. This year, we did a marinade of balsamic, fresh rosemary, olive oil and a little soy sauce. It tasted fab, but the marinade turned it an off-putting black color. It looked like a little black football! Next time, I'll adjust the recipe to be less (or more) colorful.


@Mary Mouse I am one of the people made ill by Quorn (stomach cramps bad enough to wake me up in the middle of the night, woo!) but even before I realised it was the Quorn I didn't enjoy the texture or flavour much. Sadly it's one of the only meat substitutes you can find in my podunk Scottish city.


@jule_b_sorry Maybe try white balsamic and Braggs instead of soy sauce?


@laurel That's a great suggestion - thanks! I love any excuse to pull out the ol' white balsamic.


@jule_b_sorry How do you buffalo the Quorn nuggets? I once used them to make Balk's suggested General Tso's chicken. They were just OK.


@no way I remember a Doc Martin episode about that! The disease, not the... you know what I'm saying.


@laurel It's really simple! I cook the nuggets, flipping them once and raising the temp at the end of the bake to get them extra-crispy. Then, I make buffalo sauce (my recipe isn't canon, but I like it):
-2 parts Franks Red Hot
-1 part butter
-Splash of mustard
-Splash of honey
-1/2 splash garlic salt

Simmer everything except the butter in a saucepan till hot and melted. Turn heat to low and mount the butter in the sauce until it's all creamy. Then, toss the nuggets in the buffalo sauce and return to the oven for 6 minutes, flipping once (kind of "sets" the sauce). Re-toss them in remaining buffalo sauce and plate, ideally with bleu cheese and celery for dipping.


@Mary Mouse I thought this too until I tried using Cook's Illustrated vegetarian chili recipe. Their use of Bulgar has changed my preference forever.


@jule_b_sorry I also like to cut the nuggets in half before putting them in the sauce - makes them a bit more manageable!


@jule_b_sorry Thanks! Every once in a while I have a craving for bar food.


"What, did you think we just added a Q to “corn” to be funny? Who does that?" <--out loud laughter to this. Love.


Before even reading anything past the title, my first thoughts were, in order: "oh my god." "what." "no." "but also YES."


I am one of those 3.5% who get horribly sick to their stomach after eating Quorn, which is weird, because it's made out of mycoprotein, and I have no problem with mushrooms usually.


@dauphine It's not a mushroom, but a fungus discovered in a lab in the sixties. Yummmmm.


Augh why can't it make me hallucinate cool things like all over awesome '60's lab discoveries. Then at least I could have been fine with my bowels hating me.


You'd have to add Qream to do that. I think I'd rather do meth.




@Jinxie Laugh, laugh, laugh, scroll... GAG

The Lady of Shalott

There are so many horrifying things about this--the existence of a lab-discovered protein made into "Quorn," the concept of "Qreamed Quorn," the idea of what it must smell like, the descriptor "hot berry Kix," a "meal" that looks like hot, wet dog food.

But Jaya's face is really cute in that picture!

@The Lady of Shalott I was going to comment with something about wasting food not being terribly awesome, but then. It's fucking Quorn. And Qream.

Carry on with the wet berry-flavored hot dog food, ladies. This was golden. <3


I had no idea this stuff was a lab-discovered protein until this very moment. This explains why my stomach had serious problems digesting the Quorn turkey burger I tried.


Well the good news is the "Recipes" page on Qream's website ("Qream with a Q") is no longer under construction! Cocoa Strawberry Hugs, anyone?


Ah, you should have made some Qream biscuits to go with it. You would have had biscuits and qravy!


@ChaCha bisqits


@wee_ramekin God damn it.


Haha funny thing about Qream... Even cheap people who want a 'fancy' drink won't try it. The bar I work at got some as a promotion. It sat in full view of customers in case they wanted to try it for about 9 months. No one ordered it. It finally got moved to a back room where it now sits on the floor. Usually we make up drinks with the promotional items. We thought about putting it in a smoothie, but the texture was too gross.


@miss.amErica Haha I posted an identical comment a few weeks ago, as my bar also carried it for promotional reasons. The bartenders gave it to people they didn't like.


That is truly puke worthy. Did you even put it in your mouth?


@Megano! Yeah, just reading this (and the pic - blech) made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. Some flavors and textures are just not meant to go together.


@Megano! Yeah. I thought I was done with morning sickness, but it turns out...I'm not.

I should've known better than to look at the photo - I was holding it in until then. Sigh.


@Ophelia Did the photo make you "give birth" in your mouth a little bit?

@jule_b_sorry I will be adding the phrase "give birth in your mouth" to my daily lexicon. Thank you!


@jule_b_sorry AHAHAHHAHAHA. Yes, and now I'm going to use that forever.

Judith Slutler

Dear god.


@Emmanuelle Cunt Can't say it much better than that.


My first thought was like...surprised about quorn? It's been around forever; I'm having a hard time finding the impish delight in this.

My second thought was: It's been a long hard winter, and it's possible my humor is lacking.


@hotdog You and me both, sister. It better turn into spring soon, or I'll have no friends left after all my hibernating & weather-related grumpiness.



As a former vegetarian who relied heavily on breaded Quorn cutlets during meals with meat-eaters to get them to leave me alone, I say to you, you are not alone.

And considering Qream barely made an acceptable dessert ingredient, the outcome here is hardly surprising.


@hotdog I really had never heard of Quorn before! Though in New York City it seems to only be sold at Whole Foods, and there is not one of those in my neighborhood.


@Jaya Are you also waiting for the one that they're someday going to build in the Gowanus Superfund site?


@Ophelia No I live in Queens. Also Whole Foods intimidates me. I went to buy Quorn at the one near my office in Manhattan and felt like I was going to get crushed by the Banana Ziggurat.

fondue with cheddar

The original picture of Quorn looked so gross I couldn't imagine anything worse. And then I scrolled down.

Betsy Murgatroyd

The first thing that came out of my mouth when I saw this was a long moaning, "Oh No."


Jesus Fuqking Qruist.


@leon s (Mental note: stop drinking stuff while reading Hairpin threads.)


I drank way too much champagne last night to look at that bottom photo. My stomach is barely holding on as-is.


@parallel-lines are you me?


I'm feeling oddly protective of Quorn, it's just such a good meat substitute in anything where you would otherwise cook mince in tomatoes! Oh, Quorn, not a dessert food.

Sentimentality towards manufactured foodstuffs aside, this was funny.


@Fissionchips Never a dessert food. I am horrified.


Jaya! I just want to take this moment to thank you for this questionably scrumptious series. You have been willing to go to a place many of us would not go to get a story, and I appreciate your can-do spirit and hard-hitting reviews.

Also, did you know that Pharrell is suing the makers of Qream for $5 million?


I like to keep a tray of Quorn chili in my freezer for when veg friends stop over and I have no quick snacks that are not cut-up carrots and nuts that I already have plans for. The chili costs about $2 and if you put cheese on it and serve with tortilla chips it really gets the party started. Also - Quorn is THE definitive fake chicken nugget on the market right now.


@piefinger "Quorn: so hot right now."


@piefinger I would LOVE your Quorn chili recipe, if you feel like sharing!


I can't express the joy I feel when I open the Hairpin and there is a new post about Qream.

Also: #3 on Google! Ha! That is fantastiq.


I'm sorry, I just CANNOT move past "hot berry kix". I am completely siq to my stomaq right now. THANKS


@shart_attack PUQ

Jolie Kerr

Earlier today I had to postpone drinks with a former HP editor because once again I've done messed up my back and need to take muscle relaxers. I almost texted her, "I would come out, but the last time I mixed booze with muscle relaxers it ended in Snot Qobbler, and I don't think anyone wants a repeat of that."

Love this. You are an inspiration to us all.


@Jolie Kerr Oh man. Best night of my life.


@Jaya This is seriously the funniest series, I get so excited whenever you post new recipes. I know you are probably getting tired of it, but if you continue in this quest (not even an ironic Q!) I will find it hilarious, every. single. time. Thank you.


Once in Food Technology in secondary school, my friend made Quorn sausages. She forgot them when she went home, and when she went back the next day to collect them, they had collapsed and there was just a sort of Quorn soup at the bottom of the tupperware box.


Basically what I took from this is that I really want a bowl of sugary cereal right now.


All I hear is the midget saying "(Q)reeeeeeammmmedddd (q)oooooooorrrrrrrrrn" from the TP Fire Walk With Me movie. Anyone?

The Mythical Codfish

I thinq I'm going to be ill just looqing at this.

Just FYI, if any of you ever require Qream for further nefarious purposes, let me qnow. There's a couple of bottles pathetiquely languishing on the lower shelves of my loqal liquor store.

(Goddamnit now I'm seeing Qs everywhere)


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Truly you do the Lord's worq, Jaya.
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