Bacon to the Future – A review of meat substitute foodstuffs

In advance I’d like to apologise for making that title sound very clinical but I wasn’t sure how to word it otherwise. Most of the stuff I’m going to mention is Quorn but, as other brands are involved, I thought I needed to be a pretty generic.

Anyway, due to a required change in diet (reduction in red meat, in particular) I’ve turned to meat substitute to add to meals. You see, I like my meat, so something that will replace it in my diet without me even realising is important. Sorry, but a nut cutlet isn’t going to work with me.

So what’s good and wasn’t it?

Most of the time I add these products to a salad, which is something I have every weekday, whilst working. In all cases I cook them according to the recommendations on the packaging.

Anyway, here’s my list, which I’ll update as I try out new products…

Quorn Sausage

These are the plain, frozen sausages. Fried from frozen in about 14 minutes, these are tasty. They look like traditional sausages and cook in a similar way. Only, the strong herb taste gives them away as anything else.

Quorn Steak Strips

Possibly my favourite. Stubby, sections of anaemic looking ‘steak’, this fries up and quickly browns, whilst giving off a wonderful, ‘meaty’ aroma. It takes about 12 minutes in a frying pan. They recommend adding to a sauce, but I simply mix them up with a drop of oil, salt and pepper. Added to the salad these are great – they look, smell and taste very meaty.

Quorn Hotdogs

Woah. No. Like pretty much any brand of meat-free hotdogs these look, smell and taste pretty much like traditional hotdogs. However, there are 2 things that put me off these…

  1. They need to be boiled in water. It takes an age, it’s not particularly environmental (all that water you have to boil) and well, as you’ll see from other hotdog reviews, it’s not really necessary.
  2. Whilst cooling, the edible “sleeve” that holds the sausage contents in place separates (probably due to water getting between them). By the time they’re ready, it looks as if the hotdogs are covered in a lose, plastic film, which isn’t particularly appetizing.

Sainsbury’s Vegetarian Hot Dogs

Made with wheat protein these are vastly superior to the Quorn equivalents, with better flavour and texture. These are cooked in the microwave, and take just a couple of minutes. These are my favourite veggie hot dog sausages.

Quorn Bacon

Ok, these don’t look like bacon. Eventually cut rectangles does not make you think of the traditional meat cut. But, fried each side for 1 minute, these are quick to make and smell and taste rather pleasant. If you ever fancy a quick bacon role, then a couple of slices of this, taking just 2 minutes, is a very nice, and healthy, alternative.

I suspect most people, due to the texture and shape, will hate this. But, if like me, you love bacon then as a vegetarian alternative, I find it quite palatable. It’s that or nothing 😉

Quorn Crispy Nuggets

Let’s be honest – Quorn is best when it’s simulating chicken. And their crispy nuggets are rather good. They look, smell and taste just like their meat-equivalents. They take 15 minutes in the oven and are, needless to say, very tasty.

Quorn Fishless Fingers

They’re fish fingers! Made of Quorn!

Sadly, they’re also not particularly good. They look just like the real deal but their taste and texture are not. In fact they don’t taste of fish at all.

Okay, they’re not inedible but they’re not also particularly good either. I bought one box, finished them off and now don’t intend to buy any more.

Quorn Mini Savoury Eggs

Yep, these are those tiny Scotch Eggs that are rather nice as part of a buffet, but now wrapped with Quorn meat, instead of sausage meat. And they’re quite nice. Like a lot of Quorn meats, they have a heavy herb flavour, and the texture is a little tougher than the traditional version but, you know, I’m a fan.

Quorn Cocktail Sausages

These are part of a range of products that I’d label as “nice but not like the original”. They don’t even look like cocktail sausage, more like Fridge Raiders, and they have more of a chicken taste than anything like sausage. But, they’re not bad but may be an acquired taste.

Quorn Sausage Patties

Looking exactly like their burgers I was, at first, wondering if they’d simply renamed them. But, no… fried instead of grilled, these may look the same as the burgers but they taste very different. I find these a lot more filling, and a lot tastier – as the name suggests, they’re just like sausage patties. Nice.

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