We love doing taste tests as a family. They take a bit of prep and organising but they are fun and means we get to try loads of different varieties of foods. This time we thought we would taste test sausages. There are loads of different ones and new products seem to be appearing all the time. What better time to test them all but in Veganuary.
We tend to just buy Linda McCartney sausages or occasionally Cauldron Foods. I guess because we know they are OK but we were curious to know if there were any we would prefer. Would there be a stand out favourite or would we all like different ones. Also, would any of them manage to replicate, the look, taste and texture of a juicy, meat sausage!
Here is a “before they were cooked” photo.
The sausages we tested were top row from left to right:
1. Richmond Meat Free Sausages 2. Birdseye Green Cuisine 3. Plant Pioneers Cumberland Shroomdogs,
Bottom row from left to right:
4. Gosh Veggie Sausages with Sage & Black Pepper 5. The Meatless Farm Co Meat Free Sausages 6. Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages 7.Good Life Mighty Non-Meaty Sausages with Mushrooms, Red Onion & Spinach.
Here is a photo of them once they were cooked.
So what did we think:
Richmond Meat Free Sausages – these looked really like meat sausages before they were cooked. Pink with a skin. They didn’t look quite as good after. The skins had burst open so the inside spilled out. Comments ranged from look disgusting to looks like a wet poo! Oops – maybe prick the skins next time. However, it got better, we thought they had a soft, meaty texture and a nice herby, well seasoned taste. They reminded me of a meat sausage albeit the cheaper ones.
Birdseye Green Cuisine – brown log that looked like a darker brown log after cooking. Weirdly they had formed a prism shape. These split the panel a bit. Most of us thought they smelt appealing. Two of us thought they tasted like tofu, a couple of us thought they were quite bland.
Plant Pioneers Cumberland Shroomdogs: these looked appealing with a good sausage shape and a skin. Texture wise they were very soft although the skins had a nice bite to it. Taste wise these were not popular. We thought they were way too peppery and tasted too strongly of mushrooms.
Gosh Veggie Sausages with Sage & Black Pepper: these looked like sausage shaped falafel. No skin. Texture wise we all found them quite dry and a bit cloying. Taste wise: they tasted like falafel unsurprisingly given they are made from chickpeas. Most of the panel felt it was like eating stuffing rather than a sausage. Not popular with the kids although the adults didn’t mind them.
The Meatless Farm Co Meat Free Sausages: so the packet advised frying them (all the other sausages you can oven bake or grill). Meant that they were oily, crumbly in texture and they didn’t have a skin to hold them together. Texture inside was “meaty” but almost like they weren’t quite cooked through so a bit “floury” or “cloying”. Smellwise, they were appetising and herby. Taste wise they split the panel a bit – some of us thought they were meaty tasting and well seasoned, others thought they were a bit bland. I did cook another batch in the oven and they were much better in terms of shape, texture and taste.
Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages: well everyone spotted immediately which these were even though it was a blind tasting. The girls are biased as they say they aren’t keen on the texture or taste whereas these are Jonathan’s favourite sausages! I think that although they taste good, well balanced and slightly peppery, they are dry and crumbly in texture and again don’t have a skin to keep the moisture in.
Good Life Mighty Non-Meaty Sausages: high hopes on appearance as they had a skin, were shiny, sausage shaped and looked appealing. They had a pleasant, savoury smell. Texture was “very strange”, “weird, puree like texture”. Nobody liked the taste – described as bland and tasteless.
Favourite: 1st: Richmond Meat Free Sausage, 2nd: The Meatless Farm Co Meat Free Sausages, 3rd: Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages
Least Favourites: Plant Pioneers Cumberland Shroomdogs and Good Life Mighty Non-Meaty Sausages
There is a huge range of veggie sausages out there to choose from now with big brands and all the major supermarkets cashing in on the current popularity. It is down to personal taste as the panel was split on some of them so worth doing some taste testing of your own to find one you like best. There still are not many that compare with a meat sausage in terms of juiciness, texture and taste and so were either dry in texture or too sloppy. We were all really surprised to find out that the stand out winner was not only the cheapest but the one made by a well know meat sausage producer. Interesting! Right I’m off to make a sausage sandwich with all the leftovers.