Product Type: Tesco Ready Meals
Newest Review: ... bizarre substance can the veggie ones be made from and what do they taste like? Well, these Tesco branded veggie hot dogs are made from... more
Hot dogs without the dog and bone!!
Tesco Meat Free Hot Dog Sausages
Member Name: jo1976
Tesco Meat Free Hot Dog Sausages
Date: 04/12/08, updated on 08/10/13 (958 review reads)
Advantages: Vegetarian, don't contain nasty mechanically recovered meat but taste authentic
Disadvantages: Can sometimes be overcooked when microwaved
I've been vegetarian for nearly twenty years but my husband and both of my boys are big meat-eaters. In spite of that, I actually bought these vegetarian hot dogs with the kids in mind, rather than myself. On days where I've been to work and picked up the boys up from kids' club or nursery, I don't tend to have much time to cook. They both have a small tea at school or nursery, so they aren't exactly starving but they still need a little something to see them through so usually look for something quick and easy that I can rustle up without too much hassle.
I did consider buying them traditional meat-based hot dogs but, to be honest, the contents put me off - even though it wouldn't be me eating them! I can remember reading an article on MRM (Mechanically Removed Meat) back when I was studying GCSE English! It really was a gross process and has stuck with me for all of this years. Basically, hot dogs (along with lots of other meat 'products') contain all the scrapings and edible tissue that are removed from animal bones. This mechanically removed meat can make up to 20% of the content of a tin/jar of traditional hot dogs. (Go on - check the ingredients on the back of that tin or jar in your cupboard. You could even google 'mechanically removed meat' if you want more info.) I'm not trying to convince anybody here to become vegetarian (which is good as I haven't managed to achieve that with my own family) but this is the honest reason why I give my kids vegetarian hot dogs!
So - the two key questions are what bizarre substance can the veggie ones be made from and what do they taste like? Well, these Tesco branded veggie hot dogs are made from a blend of soya and wheat proteins. This is, admittedly, not the most natural-sounding of foodstuffs but does mean that they are an excellent source of protein. They have the appearance of a traditional hot dog although are a little thinner than some brands. Each packet contains 10 individual sausages and I find that one or two served in a hot dog shaped bread roll is plenty for tea. As this is a frozen item, the unused hot dogs can keep for months and there is less waste than with tins or jars where you have to use the remainder within a couple of days.
Tastewise, I can't distinguish these from meat hot dogs and, more importantly, nor can the kids. They have the same traditional smokey flavour and the same texture as a 'normal' hot dog and can be served with all the traditional hot dog accompaniments (onions, mustard, ketchup, whatever you fancy!) I admit that I haven't eaten the genuine article for almost 20 years but I would challenge anybody reading this to take a blind taste of these and meat hot dogs and be able to tell the difference! Please let me know either way!
These are really quick and convenient to prepare. They can be cooked straight from frozen, either heated in a pan of boiling water for 3-4 minutes (just like the traditional sort) or microwaved for a little over a minute (depending on your microwave's wattage.) I tend to microwave for convenience but do find that these split before the end of the cooking time and that one end can sometimes be a little overcooked. I suppose it is trial and error to perfect the ideal cooking time!
If you want to try these, they are a Tesco branded product so, no surprises, only available from Tesco stores in the freezer aisle. I notice on the back of the packet that these are actually produced by Tivall. Tivall products are often available in independent health food shops so they may well produce their own version, but I haven't personally seen them. Pricewise, these currently cost £1.99 for a packet of ten.
If you have any preconceptions about 'meat-free' meaty products, I challenge you to try these! If you're a veggie, I'd definitely recommend these. They will give you a reminder of the lovely smokey taste of a traditional hot dog without having to think about the gruesome ingredients list!
Summary: Take the Veggie Hot Dog challenge!
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