“ Manufacturer: Holland and Barrett / Type: Pie „
Years ago I decided to become a vegetarian - not for any particular reason - I was about 15 years old and didn't eat much meat anyway so it seemed the sensible option at the time.
I started eating white meat about 4 years ago and now eat a little red meat now and again but I still have a penchant for vegetarian foods of all kinds, including these fantastic fake "pork pies".
I was never a 'real' pork pie eater, nor a pastry fan so why I always feel the urge to buy one of these when I pop into Holland and Barrett I don't know!
So, the 'pie'~
The porkless pie (no pun there intended that's what it's called!) is made by Holland and Barrett and can be found in their chiller section, and is available in most of their stores I have found.
Price and packaging~
The pie comes in a plastic see through wrapper, and has a pale yellow and green label on the front with the words 'Porkless Pie' and lots of relevant nutritional information, which I'll come to in a minute.
The price for this 125g pie - which by the way I have just weighed on my fancy new scales as there appears to be no figure at all on the packaging regarding the actual weight - is normally 99p.
This can be expensive but if you buy when reduced (due to the date almost being up) it is suitable for home freezing so I normally buy a few being a cheapskate Lol.
On opening the pie from the wrapper you are greeted with a 'meaty' smell. The pastry is thick but tasty and is more on the stodgy side than flaky. As a rule I avoid pastry as it just causes indigestion but this doesn't seem to have that effect on me thankfully.
Once you have bitten through the pastry there is a generous filling of wheat and vegetable protein. This doesn't sound or particularly look appealing (it's almost a grey colour) but is very delicious.
The filling is thick in consistency and tastes of a meat substitute - you wouldn't mistake it for a real pork pie, but as I never liked the real pies this for me isn't a negative thing.
*Suitable for home freezing
*Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
*Contains wheat and soya
*327kcals per 100g serving
I like these pies, they are ideal for quick lunches as they can be eaten hot or cold. I like the fact that after biting into them you get an almost seasoned aftertaste of the soya meat whilst the dark pastry looks welcoming and as though it's just been baked.
Tasty vegetarian option!
Holland and Barrett are a brilliant shop for vegan food. In their fridge they have many vegetarian and vegan versions of meat foods. This includes sausage rolls, ham, sausages, burgers and much more. This review is on their Porkless Pie. The name itself is enough to win me over and always gets a laugh when I tell somebody I'm eating one of these.
The pies are available in two sizes, large and small. The small pies are what I usually get as they are small enough for one person and I am the only vegan in the house. However, at Christmas I usually get a larger pie as it can be cut up and put on the buffet table on Boxing Day.
The ingredients in one of these pies are:
Pastry 50% - Water, Wheat flour, Trans Fat Free Margarine (Vegetable Oil, Water, Salt, Emulsifier E471, E475, Colours E160b, E100), Salt
Filling 50% - Water, Soya Protein Isolate, Textured Soya Concentrate, Textured Soya Protein, Flavouring (Salt, Flavouring, Sugar, Yeast Extract, Mace, Nutmeg, Pepper, Rusk, Flavour Enhancers (Disodium 5'- Ribonucleotide,) Citric Acid, Succinic Acid with Flavour (Sodium Diacetate) Colours (Paprika, Turmeric), Glucose, Preservative (Sodium Metabisulfite), Flavourings)), Vegetable Oil, Wheat Gluten, Stabiliser (Methyl Cellulose), Potato Starch, Colour (Beetroot Red), Black Pepper.
The ingredients do not look particularly healthy, even for a vegan food. There are plenty of E-numbers for a start. There are also plenty of ingredients there that I have never even heard of and can't even pronounce!
The nutrition is written on the front of the packet. From the values I worked out the Daily Allowance of each of the following in 100g of Porkless Pie.
Calories - 16.%
Sugars - 0.06%
Fat - 20%
Saturates - 28%
Salt - 0.09%
As you can see, there is quite a bit of fat in these pies. But overall they are healthier than a pork pie which contains a lot more fat and a lot more salt.
These pies are delicious. I love the pastry and the filling. The filling is a tiny bit peppery which makes it taste even nicer. The texture is similar to a pork pie but slightly more bitty. The pastry is not as good without the butter which is in non-vegan pastry but it is one of the best replacement pastries I have tasted. There is no jelly (which is a plus!) which means that the filling is not attached to the pastry and easily falls out.
Anyone for a pork pie that's kind to piggies?
Apologies to anyone who loves a real pork pie. I do remember these many years ago before I became veggie and particularly remember the jelly, which I hated, but the rest of it was great. However you don't need a pork pie to make a ploughmans for a veggie- you need a porkless one.
So head on down to your local Holland and Barrett where you should find the fridge bursting with these delightful substantial slabs. They have ordered many times more than usual so there should be plenty!
The Holland and Barrett Porkless Pie comes in two sizes individual and large, and is a wheat and vegetable protein filled pie which has no transfats. I will list the ingredients at the end of this review. Incidentally these pies are also vegan. Calorie wise they are 327 calories for 100g compared to 397 for a real pork pie, and fat wise they are only 13.9g compared to a whopping 29.0g per 100g for the real ones. In terms of saturated fat the porkless one has 5.7 g of saturated fat in the 13.9 figure, whilst the real one has 10.7g out of the 29g. So although no pie can be counted as healthy the veggie one is certainly less fatty!
So what do they taste like and can you really feed them to everyone? The texture of the pie is the same as a pork pie but the difference is there is no jelly. They are hearty and substantial and are as close to the real thing as you can get.
I love to serve these as part of a ploughmans lunch and for my guests I add cheese, lambs lettuce, various pickles, and a home made cranberry sauce which is lovely as the pie can sometimes be a little on the dry side. You can also add cheating ham, chicken, and fake turkey all widely available, and a nice healthy carrot salad, and some coleslaw finishes this off nicely. It makes a great Christmas tea unless you are stuffed from lunch! The great thing about these pies is that you can freeze them so you can have them on standby. Actually this is quite handy because in our local Holland and Barrett they only have deliveries once a week of these on Thursdays and by Monday the shelves are often bare!
I do not want to preach to non vegetarians because I believe it is a personal choice to eat meat or not, and an individual must be allowed to make that choice and be respected for it. However my reasons for not eating pigs stem from so many angles which would make this review far too long, but suffice to say they are highly intelligent animals who would in their normal habitat be outdoors in woodland where they would spend their lives foraging for grubs nuts and seeds. Instead 70% are kept indoors and the females spend 2/3 of their shortened lives producing litter after litter until at 3-5 they are slaughtered for amongst other things pork pies! In the wild they would live 15 years in their woodland habitat, but instead most never even see the light of day,which is awful for an animal that is as intelligent as a dog.
This porkless version is a great alternative and one I enjoy. Incidentally my children don't. They were all brought up as veggies and they can't abide any form of meat substitutes so my husband and I eat this one. If you have vegetarians coming round it may be advisable to check with them especially if they are quite young as younger people may not be interested in this at all.
In conclusion I think this is a great veggie alternative to the traditional pork pie and no gristle or jelly in sight! It's great for the festive season but also comes into its own for lunch in the garden on a summer day with a salad and a cold beer or glass of wine!
Pastry (Water, wheat, flour, transfat free margarine, salt)
Filling (water, soya protein, flavouring, paprika, turmeric, wheat gluten, stabilizer, potato starch, colour, black pepper)