“ Type: Vegetarians „
I have been vegan for the last 6 years and veggie for 2 before that, so to be honest I can't remember all that well what real bacon tastes like!
I don't think non vegetarians would generally be too impressed with this as a bacon substitute. I worked in a cafe that sold these in "bacon butties" and plenty of people didn't realise that they were ordering a vegetarian meal, and complained. It doesn't go crispy in the same way that bacon would and does have a bit of a rubbery texture and synthetic flavour.
However, if you are veggie and are looking for that bacony fix, this may be for you, as it does have a sort of satisfying meatiness about it. You can cook it in the microwave in only a few seconds (I find this better then pan frying, and less fattening). As long as you're careful not to overcook, the "bacon" is nice and soft and has a smoky flavour, goes well in a sandwich, in pasta sauces, or anywhere you might use bacon (though not that great just eating on its own). I made "pigs in blankets" with these and linda mccartney sausages one xmas and they were lovely.
They cost from £1.90-£2.30 depending on where you buy them from. Many Holland and Barratt stores stock them, as do plenty of independent health food shops.
You get 6 rashers in a pack and they freeze really well.
Ingredients: Water, wheat protein, soya protein, yeast extract, veg oil, salt, flavourings, starch,raw cane sugar, fermented rice, thickeners, carrageenan, locust bean gum.
Nutritional Information (per 100g): Energy 1096kj/262kcal, Protein 16.5g, Carbohydrate 16g, Fat 14.5g.
Redwoods "Cheatin" Rashers are imitation bacon for vegans and vegetarians. They are available from health food shops (including some branches of Holland and Barrett), local speciality shops such as Wild Carrot in Buxton and 8th Day Co-operative in Manchester and online from www.goodnessdirect.co.uk or direct from www.redwoodsfoods.co.uk themselves (although the shipping cost is quite high for small orders). They aren't available in most supermarkets, but luckily are suitable for home freezing so you can buy a load if you're near anywhere that stocks them. Prices I've seen range from £2-£2.10
Redwoods foods are soya based, free from genetically modified products and free from meat, fish, dairy, egg, cholesterol, hydrogenated fats or artificial flavours or colours. They do contain wheat so are not suitable for anyone on a gluten free diet.
As I write this review, it is well over 10 years since I consumed real bacon, so my comparison may not be that accurate! However, my husband regularly eats bacon now and I will include his comments. The texture is nothing like real bacon. It has the same texture throughout and the white parts are purely for decoration. The texture is processed and smooth, not stringy like real bacon. When cooked it does not go crispy like real bacon and if overcooked goes unpleasantly hard. We have always cooked it by frying with a small amount of olive oil. It has a smoked taste that resembles bacon, but is not as salty.
We use it for camping as it leaves the pan a lot cleaner, and easier to clean outdoors. My husband will occasionally eat it at home as well as when we're camping.
Nutritional Information (typical analysis - 100g)
Energy: 820.00 kJ 196.00 kcal
Protein: 25.90 g
Carbohydrate: 7.30 g
of which sugars 1.10 g
Fat: 7.30 g
of which saturates: 4.40 g
Fibre: 0.50 g
Sodium: 0.80 g
Calcium: 0.00 mg
The vegetarian bacon alternative!