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When is fettuccine alfredo not fettucine alfredo?

What vegans think food looks likeWhen it’s a raw vegan fettuccine alfredo.

So here’s the thing – raw vegan food is…not real food.

According to the well-known, well-researched, amazingly trustworthy source, Wikipedia, “raw veganism is a diet that combines the concepts of veganism and raw foodism. It excludes all food and products of animal origin, as well as food cooked at a temperature above 48 °C (118 °F). A raw vegan diet includes raw vegetables and fruits, nuts and nut pastes, grain and legume sprouts, seeds, plant oils, sea vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, and fresh juices.”

Had I know in advance that the “restaurant” I agreed to go to served only raw vegan food, I might have to question my mental health in making that decision. Instead, I just knew it was vegan, which is somewhat acceptable. I’m a vegetarian, and I like some of the ideas behind veganism, but I’m not down with the idea of raw veganism any more than I’m down with the ideas of breatharians.  (I worked with a breatharian, but more about that in another blog…)

Their menu claimed it would be actual food:
Fettuccini Alfredo – served raw veggie noodles. And it comes with cashew butter with some lemon juice (or so they told me).

Then they brought it out. And I wanted to cry.

How the hell was that fettuccine? Or alfredo?

Trusting to the wisdom of Wikipedia once again, we can see that “Fettuccine Alfredo…is a pasta dish made from fettuccine tossed with Parmesan cheese and butter. As the cheese melts, it emulsifies the liquids to form a smooth and rich sauce coating the pasta. In other words, it is pasta with butter and Parmesan cheese (Italian: pasta al burro e parmigiano), one of the oldest and simplest ways to prepare pasta.”

As I stared at my bowl of not fettuccine alfredo, I was reminded of a paradox I’d heard:

My grandfather had an axe that had been handed down through the family, and he finally handed it off to me.

Unfortunately, after many, many years of use, the handle broke.

I brought the axe to a hardware store, and I got a new handle attached to it.

Then, a few years later, the axe head broke, so I brought the handle to the hardware store and got a new head.

The question is – is it still my grandfather’s axe?

And is it still fettucine alfredo?