This week we’re looking at a burger we’ve eaten a fair few times. There was a period when Quorn or Linda McCartney were your only options for supermarket fare, though the market has expanded hugely since then and both brands have changed and updated their recipes.
So we picked these up in the supermarket, innocently enough. I’m always game to try a new product, especially if it’s in burger form. These looked pretty interesting, too, because I’ve obviously never eaten pulled pork. J has, and that’s an important thing to remember in a minute. So we grabbed them, put them in the oven, and waited to see how they would come out.
The answer to that is amazingly. First off, they were very juicy, leaving juice behind on the paper after cooking them. They also ooze a little when you cut into them, but not so much that it gets too messy. This makes them really super-succulent, much better than the dry, dusty Quorn/meat replacement burger of old.
The texture is also pretty amazing. They’ve been gradually developing some really interesting textures with products like the beef strips, and these are magical. They really do feel like strips of chewy meat all compressed together for that burger shape, and it’s pretty convincing.
As for the taste, I don’t even know how to describe it. I literally have no reference point for this. J tells me that they taste almost exactly like pulled pork, which is really impressive. Since he should know.
I’m trying to decide how I feel about that. On one hand, it’s pretty exciting for me to find out what pulled pork tastes like. That’s something I never would have known by myself, and it’s great to have a reference point when people describe a meal now. On the other hand, I’m a little bit disappointed. Yes, they are delicious and I will definitely have them again. But when people say they can’t give up meat because it tastes so good, it makes you think the flavour must be something spectacular. I probably wouldn’t be too upset if I never ate these again. I definitely wouldn’t kill an animal just to be able to taste them. If this is what all the fuss has been about, then colour me unimpressed.
Also, if we’re getting that good at replicating flavours, it seems like carnivores aren’t going to have that excuse for much longer. Which is most definitely a good thing.
ON THE VEGBURGE SCALE, I GIVE THIS…
TASTE – 10/10
PRICE – 7/10
REST OF EXPERIENCE – 8/10
First you take a wholemeal wrap, then you lay a vegcake on it. Cut it up into smaller strips or chunks, and push them all up on to one side of the wrap. Add raw red onion, fresh spinach, gruyere cheese, and a generous helping of mango chutney. Together with the burger, that makes for Indian wrap heaven!
The vegcakes were milder than I expected them to be. At first there was almost no impact at all, though I did notice a stronger spice in the aftertaste. The texture was really interesting with solid chickpeas and peas, and the crunchy little seeds as well. That did make them a little bit more interesting to eat, though to be honest I was expecting more flavour. The chickpeas were as bland as they can be, and despite all the seeds and spices, most of it had little to no effect. In the end, I had to take a bit out of the wrap and eat it on its own to be sure that I really was tasting it right. The mango chutney was the strongest and best tasting element of the wrap, and without that, these would have been in danger of being bland and boring.
I probably won’t be getting these again, particularly given the price for just two burgers. It’s another disappointing supermarket burger – something that I see all too much of.
On the VegBurge Scale, I give this…
Taste – 5/10
Price – 4/10
Rest of experience – 6/10