Product Type: Linda McCartney Ready Meals
Newest Review: ... quality. The way I personally get the best experience from eating Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Sausage Rolls, is to let them thaw ... more
Gristle-free sausage rolls
Linda McCartney Sausage Rolls
Member Name: GentleGenius
Linda McCartney Sausage Rolls
Advantages: Don't taste too bad, pastry is quite good, no lumps of fat and gristle, a good standby product
Disadvantages: Slight after-taste, a bit glutinous, expensive unless on special offer, high in fat & calories
PRICE: £1.49 for a pack of 6 @ my local Sainsbury's (currently on offer for £1)
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per sausage roll):-
(of which sugars): 1.8g
(of which saturates): 3.1g
(of which sodium): 0.3g
Rehydrated textured wheat protein, wheat flour, water, vegetable oil, salt, mono and di-glycerides of fatty acids, onion, natural flavouring, peas, methylcellulose, salt, wheat starch
Free from artificial colours, flavours and preservatives
Vegetarian Society Approved
Contains wheat and gluten
Being a great lover of sausage rolls, yet too lazy to make them myself and hating the gristly particles which can turn up in some commercially made varieties, I sometimes buy Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Sausage Rolls when the craving hits.
The design on the packaging is a brownish background with an image of a few cooked sausage rolls on the front. The rear and sides of the thin card box show nutritional information, ingredients, dietary/allergy advice, storage and cooking instructions, recycling advice and the manufacturer's contact details.
The quite good-sized sausage rolls nestle inside of the box, and they aren't wrapped in any kind of paper or cellophane. Even when frozen, I have mostly found that they don't stick together, so can easily be removed ready for cooking. The appearance of the sausage rolls is quite basic, in that there are no decorative scoring patterns on the tops. Each sausage roll is about four inches long, and I'd guess approximately five inches in circumference.
These sausage rolls, because they are raw, can't be cooked in a microwave oven, although they can be re-heated in one after having been cooked in a conventional oven. I find they take a little longer to completely cook than the instructions on the packet suggest - I give them an extra five minutes. If I stick to the manufacturer's instructions, I find that the pastry doesn't cook all the way through, which can make the end product a little on the soggy side.
When the sausage rolls are cooked, the pastry goes a nice golden colour. The filling looks a little greasy, it being a tired greyish hue, but is well proportioned in balance with the pastry. Possibly due to the high fat content in both the pastry and the filling, I find that providing a non-stick baking tray is used, there is no need to grease it, as the sausage rolls slip off easily onto a cooling rack or a plate.
On sampling, the pastry is light, but although it does have a good flaky texture, it isn't quite as flaky as some other, non-vegetarian brands of sausage roll. The filling is soft and easy to bite into, but I find it has a rather glutinous consistency which I'm not too fond of. I like my flaky pastry to have a pronounced buttery flavour, but to me the pastry on these sausage rolls tastes as if it has been made with lard, which it obviously hasn't been as it is a vegetarian/vegan product. The filling also has a cloying greasiness present, which I find makes it and the pastry stick to the roof of my mouth, and that is quite unpleasant. Another slight problem for me with the filling is that although it tastes fine whilst it is in my mouth and being chewed, a little while after swallowing, I'm left with a slight after-taste which is chemical in nature.
However, despite the stodgy consistency of the filling, plus its slight after-taste and the overall greasiness of these sausage rolls, they are an acceptable vegetarian alternative to the carnivore variety which can sometimes be of very questionable quality.
The way I personally get the best experience from eating Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Sausage Rolls, is to let them thaw before cooking, and cut them into bite-sized pieces. That way, I find they bake more evenly and cut down on the risk of stodginess in the pastry. The filling is improved by cooking for longer than the recommended instructions, as it then dries out a bit which removes some of the glutinous effect. I don't buy this product often, but do find it to be an acceptable alternative to the meat variety.
One big downside of these sausage rolls is that they are very high in fat and calories, so it probably isn't a good idea to eat too many at one sitting - that's something I personally am unable to do though.
Overall, Linda McCartney's Vegetarian Sausages is a moderately decent product, but I personally would never buy them unless on special offer (as they currently are at my local Sainsbury's), because I feel that when full-priced, the quantity in the packet isn't worth paying more than £1 for. This for me is a very up and down product which has its swings and roundabouts, but is definitely acceptable, even with its faults.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Summary: Not the height of culinary brilliance, but perfectly acceptable
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