Tag Archives: food review

Skinny Pop! White Cheddar Popcorn Review

I’m gonna be honest, I love popcorn in basically any form. (The exception being that sweet/sticky stuff people put on it at Christmas… I think it’s called ‘kettle corn’?) And I especially love it when it comes with faux-cheese flavour. Before we discovered I was allergic to dairy products, I used to eat Smartfood White Cheddar Popcorn when we had end-of-year class parties in elementary school, and let me tell you, I was so into that stuff!

Maybe it’s because it was tied to the end of school/beginning of summer, or maybe it’s because I was just so young I still thought everything was amazing, but I was crushed when we discovered my allergy, and I learned that I couldn’t eat one of my favourite treats anymore.

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Now, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, it’s been quite a while since I’ve had the ‘real’ thing (I think it’s been about 20 years now [… how old are people in gr. 2?]), and I don’t know if Skinny Pop! was even trying to emulate it, but this tastes very similar to what I remember the Smartfood popcorn being.

Needless to say, I love this one, too!

Not only do these bags of popcorn bring back fond childhood memories with their flavour, perhaps the best part of them? They (sometimes) come in giant bags!

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Seriously, this thing is roughly the same size as my torso! And yes, it still had a lot of air in it, but that’s still a big bag!

One thing I don’t like about this popcorn, is that the seasoning sometime falls all to the bottom of the bag. This has a simple fix, though. Just shake the bag/turn it upside down for a little bit before you open it to redistribute the flavour.

Speaking of the flavouring, it’s powdery, white and sticks to your fingers. Similar to ketchup dust from chips. But it’s so good, I’m sure you won’t mind licking it off yourself when you finish.

Other than that, there’s not really too much to say about this product. It’s vegan and awesome, and I recommend everyone try it. They also have other flavours, though I’m not sure if all the flavours are vegan. I’ve also tried their plain popcorn one (Green bag), that one was good too.

If you like popcorn, you definitely have to try this one!


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Daiya’s Meatless Pepperoni Style Pizza Review

Pepperoni pizzas are considered to be pretty basic, but just because a product isn’t overly complicated or a mash of six different flavours doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get just as much attention as the more exotic products out there!

Sometimes, you just need a simple meal to fill you, and that’s what this pizza does best.

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I’ve only tried this pizza once – for some reason it’s really hard to find in Canada – and I ended up burning it a bit, so it was a bit more crunchy then I like, but even with that, it was pretty good!

The crust and cheese tasted the same as their other frozen pizzas. The pepperoni was more interesting. Now, the only other vegan pepperoni I’ve tried is Yves and the one that PizzaPizza uses (though they might use Yves, I can’t remember right now), and I don’t really remember what meat pepperoni tastes like, but I liked this one. It was actually pretty spicy, which I wasn’t expecting. It was about the same amount of spicy as the Beyond Meat Spicy Sausages. Which might not be that much for some of you, but for me it’s a lot.

Because they were spicy, they reminded me of what Hot Rods used to taste like. I don’t know how popular those are outside of Canada, but that’s pretty much what they tasted like. They were also pretty big in size, bigger than the pepperoni PizzaPizza uses, (I bought a pizza specifically to compare their sizes). Aside from the spicy aspect, they also had quite a strong smokey flavour.

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I obviously would’ve liked them better if they weren’t spicy, and just smokey, but the smoke flavour did a good job of sort of ‘washing’ your mouth out when you swallowed so it didn’t feel like your throat was on fire.

This pizza is also the same price as the others (usually $10.99), which you could maybe argue for it being less because there’s only one thing on it. Other than that, there’s not really much to tell. It’s pretty basic, but it’s good.


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Haagen-Dazs Non-Dairy Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Bar Review

While the Vegan Festival did happen this year, I didn’t think it was safe enough to attend, even though they had pretty good regulations in place to keep everyone safe. Although I absolutely loved the previous festivals, I’m not going to jump the gun just because I want to have fun.

So, with that in mind, I’m bringing you another ice cream review, instead.

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I actually first tried Haagen Dazs vegan ice cream at one of the festivals, so I thought it fitting that I reviewed their product in place of the festival review.

These ice cream bars are very tasty. It had that dark chocolate that makes you thirsty as a coating, encasing the peanut butter ice cream, on a stick. The bar is similar to what I remember Reece’s cups tasting like (though I haven’t had those in over 7 years, so maybe not the best authority on their taste. That said, it was chocolate and peanut butter, which is a great combo regardless of how close it tastes to a sugary snack.

Another cool thing about the Haagen Dazs ice cream, is that it is actually peanut butter ice cream, not almond, soy, or nut-based. They straight up turned peanut butter into ice cream, and used that. I think that’s part of why it tastes so good, because they didn’t make (for example) almond ice cream, and then blend peanut butter with it, it’s just peanut butter.

There were streaks/swirls of what looked like chocolate in the bar. I don’t know exactly what the swirls were made out of, but am assuming it was chocolate fudge, as the name suggests. I don’t know if I’d say it was a ‘fudge-y’ flavour, but it definitely added to the overall taste of the bar. Even the wooden stick the bar is on tastes pretty good!

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(Don’t mind the Supernatural pyjama background)

There was also a lattice pattern of drizzled chocolate over the coating, which made the bar feel very fancy. The box they come in is also a fancy looking green and gold, which really makes it feel like you’re buying a premium ice cream.

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Speaking of the box, only 3 bars come in one, which… well, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it sucks! Why do they make vegan food in such small quantities? Also, judging by the size of the box, you could fit at least one more in there. They wouldn’t even have to change production or make updated boxes! Four at least would be better, especially for the price. One box is $5.98 at Walmart, and while that’s pretty on par with the other vegan ice creams, if given the choice between a tub and 3 bars, economically, it just makes sense to buy the tub. You get more ice cream for almost the same price.

All in all, these bars make you feel pretty fancy/posh when you eat them (or maybe that’s just me?), and they are pretty tasty. If you haven’t tried them yet, I definitely recommend you add them to your summer shopping list. (At least once)


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Yves Spicy Italian Veggie Sausage Review

First things first: they call these ‘sausages’ but they’re actually closer to not-dogs than sausages. I don’t know why they don’t just call them spicy not-dogs, but don’t get confused. If you want sausages do not reach for these! If you want spicy not-dogs however, feel free to stock up.

I first tried this product at the 2018 Vegandale Festival, it was the very last thing I ate before leaving, it came in a little cup on a toothpick. It was… well it tasted pretty much how I remember hot dogs tasting, but had a bit of a kick to it. (I assume that’s why they call it ‘spicy’) It was also big. They don’t call them ‘jumbo’, but these were pretty thick. Not overtly, but they’re definitely thicker than their regular not-dogs.

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Only 4 come in a pack, which again, is one of the downsides to buying these premade vegan foods – though their regular sized not-dogs come in a pack of 5, so I suppose it makes sense that these thicker ones have less. They’re also $5.99 at Loblaws, which isn’t that expensive when talking about vegan substitutes.

One thing I like about both these spicy not-dogs and their non-spicy ones, are that you can eat them cold or cooked, and their taste doesn’t change all that much. Also, again, like the non-spicy not-dogs, you can freeze these ones as well without a noticeable texture/flavour change. This is a great option, because that means you can buy them on sale, and then keep a few ‘extra’ packs in your freezer. Their FAQ even says their products can last 1-3 months in the freezer!

Another good thing about these? They have a recyclable packaging program! This is something I actually didn’t know about, but am so glad I found! The cardboard sleeve can be regular recycled, but then they also have a TerraCycle program for the plastic part.

Unfortunately, the link provided on their website to TerraCycle brought me to a 404 Error page, but once I hear back from the company, I’ll be sure to update this post with the specifics of the recycling program.

All in all, these spicy not-dogs are just that: spicy not-dogs. They’re nothing fancy, but you should definitely make space for them in your summer recipes!


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Tim Horton’s Beyond Meat, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwich Review

I finally got my hands on this ‘new’ Tim Horton’s sandwich Dec. 2nd, 2019. I was going to post this review last year, but I figured it would be kind of mean/unfair of me to post a review of a food you couldn’t go immediately try. Now though, that doesn’t really matter, since Tim Horton’s (apparently) stopped selling the sandwich in early 2020. So I figure it’s fair game now. Also, I’m glad I was able to try this sandwich before they stopped selling them.

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The first thing I want to let you know about this sandwich (and what you can tell from the above picture) is the fact that the English muffin it came on was a hexagon. I wasn’t expecting that, and was mildly surprised when I unwrapped it and saw the shape. For a minute, I actually thought they gave me the wrong sandwich. (I mean, c’mon, how often do non-vegan restaurants make vegan options cool shapes?)

After I got over the shape, the second thing I noticed was how much shredded lettuce they put on it. I know it’s called a Beyond Meat, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich, but seriously? There was so much lettuce! Half of it fell out when I picked it up, and the rest of it almost fell out after each bite.

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(Also, look at the difference between the one I got, and the promo pic – that’s bordering on ridiculous!)

Another thing about this sandwich I wish I knew/they said on the website before I bought it, was the fact it was spicy Beyond Meat. It tasted like the type of sausage you get on pizza – it was a very similar heat to the Chorizo sausage crumble that’s on PizzaPizza pizza. Aside from being blindsided, it actually tasted pretty good. I mean, it still mildly freaks me out how close to non-vegan meat Beyond Meat tastes, but it was still good. And even better I imagine for meat eaters who are looking for a close substitute.

While we’re talking about taste, the English muffin was also very bland, and was oddly enough pretty hard, as well. It was a lot more ‘tasteless’ than the English muffins I usually buy. Which sucked, because I thought the hexagon shape would make it taste better than usual. The sandwich was also quite small. My mom got a bagel something-or-other sandwich, and this one was half the size! Very disappointing.

Overall, the sandwich was pretty ‘meh’, and I hate to say it, but I’m actually kind of glad it got discontinued. Don’t get me wrong, I was over the moon to discover Tim Horton’s wanted to try getting on the vegan bandwagon – I just think they missed the mark with this one. Hopefully though, they won’t give up! Get back to the drawing board and see if you can come up with something better! Which I’m sure you can, because my mom was pretty happy with her (non-vegan) sandwich, so I know you guys don’t totally suck in that department.

And hey, if you ever need suggestions, I’ll be right here.


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Earth Balance Vegan Cheddar Flavoured Squares Review

Cheesy crackers…

What can I say about cheesy crackers? They’re amazing? I wish I didn’t put off trying them for so long? I wish I could order a case and just always have them in my house?

I could say all that, but that doesn’t really make for a good review. Doesn’t really tell you much other than that I like them. And while I’m sure there’s some of you out there who value my opinion, I don’t think I’m quite popular/famous enough to have you flock to stores to go buy something just because I said so.

So, until that day comes (and mark my words, it will come!) I guess I’m stuck writing an entire article. But that’s also okay, because I talk a lot, sooo, let’s get started, shall we?

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These Earth Balance were actually hard to find. I had spotted them for the first time a few years ago at Good Rebel but at the time, I was on a mission looking for one of the other foods I’ve done for a different review, so I had to pass them by, but I made a mental note to go back and try them.

Well as we all know, life likes to get in the way of things, and by the time I remembered I wanted to try them (and was back at Good Rebel), they weren’t available anymore. So I started doing some online digging, and I came across something that said Earth Balance was actually discontinuing the crackers. I basically gave up hope after that, until I finally found VeganSupply. They’re a Canada-wide vegan only online grocer, and I was super excited to find them! Until I saw the shipping price.

I understand they’re in B.C., and I’m in Toronto, but there’s a reason ‘starving artist’ is a phrase. So I perused the site, and built up a list of what I’d get once I saved up enough to actually place an order.

Flash forward to last October (Oct. 2020), the stars had somewhat aligned, and I decided the time was right to finally place the order. And boy am I glad I did! Most of the stuff in that order (which can be seen here) I’m actually using as product reviews for this and next year, which is how I justified spending so much money on non-essential foods. (My order total for those 7 items was $59.74)

After all that, I finally had my hands on the box of crackers! (Although it was a slightly wet from me washing it. Important tip: don’t wash things that come in cardboard) Now, I haven’t had cheesy crackers since… well I don’t actually remember, but I do remember I was little, like, early-grade-school-little. (Before we learned of my dairy allergy)

That said, I loved these! They taste like what I remember Goldfish crackers tasting like, but they are firmer than I remember. (I remember Goldfish being not very ‘cracker-y’ and being more ‘stiff bread-y’) They were quite ‘cheesy’ – not in the way nooch is cheesy, but in a similar way to how Skinny Pop White Cheddar is cheesy – and they were actually crunchy as well. (Unlike my distant memory of Goldfish crackers)

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They also got a little too salty after eating a bunch of them, though that was probably my bad. If you plan on eating half the box in one go, you’re definitely gonna need water! After the initial hype wore off and I was more in control of how many I was shoving in my face (for some reason my brain came up with ’10 is a good snack amount’) the saltiness was no longer an issue.

Another kind of downside to these crackers is that they get stuck in your teeth. Similar to what happens when you eat Vegetable Thins, there is some soft-like cracker residue that you need to pick out of your teeth when you’re done. (Oh don’t give me that look, I know it’s a universal human thing) So depending on how gross that sounds, you may want to try one to start, and then see how it goes.

And of course, my always complaint to most vegan foods: there could’ve been more crackers in the box! The crackers were in what looked like a foil bag inside the box, and there was a good amount of air space in them. Now, I’m no expert, but I know certain chip brands need the air in the bag to prevent the contents from breaking, so maybe that’s what’s going on here, but to that I say: make a bigger box! Or have a special or something where you sell them in a three pack or something, because seriously, trying to make that one box last longer than a week was a struggle.

All in all, these crackers are a great snack and I wish I could order them more often, and I highly recommend you try them, too. If you like cheesy things, and you like crackers, there’s really no downside.


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Gardein Original Breakfast Saus’ge Patty Review

I don’t think there has been a product from Gardein I’ve tried that I haven’t liked. I don’t know how, but they keep coming up with awesome new foods to try, and I’m always game!

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So, Gardein actually has 2 kinds of these breakfast sausage patties, they have these plain/original ones, and they have maple ones. They taste exactly the same, but the maple one has maple syrup on it, so this is going to be like a combined 2-in-1 review.

These sausage patties are pretty small, which I like, because they fit perfectly on an English muffin. They have what I believe would be a ‘classic’ sausage taste, and have a good consistency, as well. They aren’t too squishy, and have a good bite to them. Pan frying them with some oil gives them a nice ‘crust’ on the outside, so they get a bit more crunch to them. I don’t know if you’d be able to tell by the consistency if they weren’t meat, but from what I remember, they’re pretty close. (Though I’m at 5 years vegan now, so my memory may be fading)

The only problem with these – as with most vegan products – is the amount that comes in the bag. 1 pack only comes with 5, which leads to disappointment when you open it, because they’re so small, so it makes the bag look even emptier. You could easily fit at least 2 more patties in the bag. Or, if you don’t want to add more patties to the bag, you could use a smaller bag! The bag is the same size as all the other products, and honestly I think that’s just a waste of packaging. Either add more product, or make a smaller bag.

I wish they had these, or the maple ones, as actual breakfast sausages (the round kind), that would be even more perfect. Because while these patties are great, if you don’t have English muffins on hand, they look so sad in a regular bread sandwich, or even on a bagel. If they made ‘real’ sausages, then you could have them on the side, instead of turning them into a sandwich, and that would lend itself well to not feeling like you need to make a sandwich for breakfast. And yes, I know you could have these patties on the side, but I feel like they look weird being ‘on the side’ instead of in a sandwich.

If you’ve been looking for something to elevate your breakfast sandwiches, you definitely have to try these. Either the plain or maple ones. They make great breakfast sandwiches, especially with some black salt and nooch on a toasted English muffin. Which is funny, because that’s one of those things I didn’t realize I missed until I had it again, and then I was like, ‘oh, yeah….’

I don’t often eat breakfast type foods, but these are definitely going on my regular shopping list.


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Gardein 7 Grain Crispy Tenders Review

These are some of the very first things from Gardein I ever tried.

I’m not gonna lie, like most of the other chick’n Gardein products, you probably already know what these taste like, so if you like those, you’ll like these.

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One thing I actually don’t like about these, is the fact they only come 10 to a bag. I know from personal experience you can fit 20 into the bag. And, while 20 did slightly overfill the bag, you could definitely put more than 10. Even 15 would be better. I really don’t understand the obsession with vegan companies not making foods in family sizes.

I don’t know about other people, but I don’t want to go shopping every week, and like to buy the biggest quantity of something I can, so I’m not constantly running out to the store for supplies. (And, in light of COVID happening, I think it’s more important than ever to buy things in bulk to limit your amount of outings)

Aside from the lack of food, these are as I said above, not very spectacular. But that’s okay! I actually really enjoy these, they’re pretty fast to make in a pan, and can be eaten by themselves as nuggets, or you can add them to other dishes, like pastas or rice.

The 7 grain breading on them is pretty good, too. While I can’t really describe it – I don’t actually taste 7 different grains, for example – but I can say it’s definitely different than the breading on the Mandarin Orange Nuggets. One thing I can tell you though, is that this breading is way more crumby than the other. It’s not really a big deal, but even after washing my hands I still feel like the crumbs are on me, so be wary of that.

As for the innerds – as I said, it tastes the same as their other faux chicken products. The texture is a bit tougher than the nuggets, though. It’s closer to the texture of the faux chick’n burgers.

Another thing I’d like to mention, I recently noticed that the Gardein bags have changed texture, they don’t feel quite so ‘plastic-y’ anymore. So I did some recon, and discovered they changed their bags to be made out of ____ which is awesome, because this means that while they still come in packaging, they’re more recyclable, and – as someone who recently started getting into the zero waste lifestyle – this is awesome! So while I try to move away from pre-packaged foods, I will still continue to support Gardein.

I feel like the Beyond Burger (and Impossible Burger and the like) are more of the flashy/Instagram-y side of veganism, trying to seem interesting and enticing – while Gardein is more like an old friend who’s always there.

If you haven’t tried their products yet, please go out and support them!


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Breyers Non-Dairy Vanilla Peanut Butter Ice Cream Review

I am very saddened to be posting this review in lieu of the annual Vegandale Festival review. Unfortunately, this year the corona virus caused all kinds of havoc and due to safety concerns, the festival was cancelled/postponed until next year.

This is the first year pretty much since I went vegan where I wasn’t able to attend the festival. Yes, I’m bummed but the show must go on, so please accept this still summer-y review of Breyers Non-Dairy Vanilla Peanut Butter Ice Cream.

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This is actually the second Breyers non-dairy ice cream I’ve tried, but I apparently didn’t post the Cookies and Crème review I did, so I’m gonna be doing this backwards. That review will come some time next year, (most likely in the summer).

This ice cream is hard for me to describe, because most of the ice creams I’ve had in my life are ‘hard’. Like, the Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy line – how you have to chip away at them to get them out of the container? Like that. This ice cream however, is a lot softer, and doesn’t ‘chip’ – you can actually scoop it right out of the freezer without breaking your wrist. I would say maybe the best word to describe the consistency is ‘smooth’ and ‘softer’ than the others. (Or, dare I say… creamier?)

Another thing I like about this ice cream is how big the container is.

Seriously.

This ice cream comes in a 1,660ml container, which is over 3x the size of the Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy ice creams (500ml). Also, the Breyers was $5.98 at the Real Canadian Superstore, while Ben and Jerry’s is $7.28. At other stores though, (Loblaws, Metro and Shopper’s), the Ben and Jerry’s is usually around $9.98.

So not only is it 3x the size, but it’s also cheaper.

The size alone makes this ice cream a must try for me, but the flavour itself is great, too. The ice cream is basic ‘smooth’ vanilla, and it has bits of peanut butter throughout. The peanut butter is in these sort-of-weird drizzled lines. They’re not in chunked pieces like they are in the Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter ice cream. It’s actually kind of hard to explain. It looked like they drizzled liquid peanut butter and layered it in with the ice cream, allowing the ice cream to freeze it. I’m not sure if that’s actually how they get it in there, but that’s what it looks like. The peanut butter parts of the ice cream were ‘hard’. I’m tempted to akin it to peanut brittle, but they’re not that hard. And when I say ‘hard’ I don’t mean ‘crunchy’, I mean like how ice is hard – it’s like that.

Because of this, you have to be careful when excavating the peanut butter parts out of the ice cream. Too much strength, and you risk flinging ice cream all over yourself. (I totally don’t know this from first-hand experience) Not that the hardness of the peanut butter is jarring (… no pun intended?) – it melts as soon as it hits your tongue – but it is something to watch out for. I feel like, not that they need a warning on the label, but if people were at least aware of that going in, it might up their experience.

All in all, this ice cream is definitely decent for the price and size that it is, and if you haven’t tried it yet, I’d definitely recommend that you do, if for no other reason than to laugh at the comparison of size.


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Tofurky Italian Sausage Review

Alright, now that the terrible weather is finally gone, chances are you’ll probably find yourself at a BBQ/summer cook-out of some sort over the next few months. You’ll most likely need to either bring a faux meat with you, or tell the host which brand you’d like. I recommend telling them not to worry, and that you’re fine to bring my own, but if they’re insistent, well Tofurky is one of the easier faux meat products to find/remember the name of.

You could always make your own, but if you don’t have time for that/don’t want to turn the stove/oven on in the hot temps, well, I don’t blame you. Sometimes it’s just faster/easier to grab something from a store. That’s why having some faux options are great.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Tofurky Italian Sausages - vegan food, vegan food review, food review, vegan meat, food bloggerThese Italian Sausages are great. They come 4 to a pack, (which, for 5.99 [Metro] isn’t bad at all) and are a pretty good ‘average’ length. I’ve seen a few other brands where their sausages are stubbier/not as long as ‘normal’ ones, which, I don’t understand – I mean, is it really that much extra work to make them a regular size?

But anyway, they have a nice smoky, taste, especially if cooked on a BBQ, and even if you leave them a bit longer than normal in a frying pan.

They have a good bite to them, too – they don’t quite ‘explode’ like non-vegan sausages that are in a casing, but they aaalmost do. I can’t say how close to ‘real’ meat they are, since I don’t really remember, but they’re definitely good.

I think that’s a good way to go into a lot of the premade vegan foods – if you don’t think ‘this will be a perfect replica’ and think of it more as it’s own thing, I think more people would like them. The taste isn’t really comparable, but they’re definitely good. They have that kind of generic spiced tofu taste you come to be familiar with if you eat a lot of the premade foods. And they have what I believe is tomato pieces (or possibly bell pepper) pieces in them. You can see them when you bite into them. They have flecks of what I assume are basil (since, they’re ‘Italian’ flavour) in them, too, though I can’t really pick it out as a flavour.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Reviews - Tofurky Italian Sausages - vegan food, vegan food review, food review, vegan meat, food blogger

(The original packaging!)

They’re not too firm when they are raw – akin to a moist cake consistency – which makes cutting them sometimes a pain, as they may just squish down instead of being cut into pieces.

The sausages are also covered in a slime-y (ish) liquid. I’m not entirely sure what it is, it’s about the same consistency as oil, but it’s a red/orange-y colour. I don’t know if that has any of the flavour in it, but beware if you use them on a charcuterie board or as hors d’oeuvres. Also, if you wanted to just cut them directly on the counter, just be sure to wipe up after so it doesn’t stain.

I haven’t tried their other flavours of sausages yet, but even still, these are my favourites. They just taste very familiar… though that may be because I’m Italian.

If you haven’t tried these yet, what are you waiting for?


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