“ Brand: Cauldron / Type: Vegetarians „
Being a vegetarian for, err (counts on fingers) ten years now, these, along with their Lincolnshire counterparts, have provided me with a glaring omission from many a fried breakfast. I have never really opted for many direct meat-substitute products as I find them to have an unpleasant, almost woolly texture and a plastic-like flavour (see Linda McCartney sausages as an example of this). However, Cauldron have clearly done research into all aspects of their product, including taste, texture and versatility.
The ingredients include soya protein, herbs and spices, egg powder and are a good source of protein. They are not too unhealthy either, being laden with neither excess fat nor sugar and come in at about 80kcal per sausage. The texture has a natural feel, rather than announcing itself as some sort of mass-produced factory product (which it undoubtedly is, but disguises itself sufficiently).
On the back of the packet are numerous cooking methods, which lend themselves to versatility in dishes such as toad in the hole, stews, curries and fry-ups alike, which is a useful inclusion. I have cooked these up in dishes served to my non-vegetarian friends and housemates, who are pleasantly surprised by the taste. They do however need to be cooked with care, as the outside can burn quite easily and leave the inner core uncooked, but this is more likely to be the fault of the chef rather than the sausage.
The packaging is made of recyclable cardboard and a plastic tray, which is not recyclable in my area due to the slack nature of our council (grr), but they do at least endeavour to create eco-friendly packaging. This is used to protect the contents from decay - be prepared to eat them soon as they become furry VERY quickly, and throwing them away is quite a galling act. The only other gripe is the price tag - be prepared to pay £2 and upwards for these sausage unless they are on special offer, so they are more likely to be a treat rather than a staple.