Monday, 9 July 2012

Meet Your Meat Substitutes Review: Redwoods Vegetarian Bacon

Redwoods Vegan Bacon Rashers

I picked up Redwoods Vegetarian Bacon at my local whole foods shop, having decided to indulge in something new as part of my Meet Your Meat Substitutes series.

They're officially called 'Redwoods' Vegideli Organic Meat Free Bio Rashers' and along with being organic they are 100% vegan. The main ingredient in this is wheat. Wheat glueten, wheat starch and wheat protein along with a bit of soya and some seasoning.

I really wanted to like this because it Redwood are such a pioneering and inventive company. Their range of products includes everything from vegan and organic cheeses to faux fish, fake duck and dairy free desserts made from pea proteins. They've won multiple awards for their products from the likes of Viva, PETA and the Vegetarian Society. But, after two different outings, I decided that these rashers were really just alright.

Review: So So
Unlike tempeh, Redwood's Rashers are not really the main filling and satisfying part in a meal. They are at best a novel side note.  I was looking for something that might work in a veggie breakfast.  While it definitely looked the part and tasted nice, a veggie sausage would have been much more filling.

The texture is not fiberous but rather a tightly packed flesh coloured meal. It reminds me of processed lunch meats for children. The shape was familiar, but the one dimensional texture made the rasher boring to eat and boring to fry. And they we're so thin that cutting into them to eat is a disappointing non event. When I tried to make a lettuce & 'bacon' sandwich' the two rashers weren't really noticeable.
Redwood's Vegan Bacon Sandwich

The rashers tasted nice, not too salty, but they didn't actually taste like bacon. If you're looking for something that tastes like bacon, you'll do better eating some bacon flavoured junk food like Frazzles or Kettle Chips. Which made me think, why didn't they just steal that recipe?

There is no way that these could be as versatile as actual bacon because they don't have the fat content and so can't be used as for stock in the same way. So it's essentially cookable lunch 'meat'.

In summary, while I appreciate what they're trying to do here - Redwoods catalogue of goodies must be a lifesaver to so many people who are learning how to become vegetarian - I'm not sure they've got it right just yet with their Bio-Rasher.

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