“ Brand: Tivall / Type: Vegetarians „
I have an unhealthy obsession with Chicken Kievs - I don't mean that I find them sexual in some perverse way - it's just that they taste a bit too delicious, and I would probably eat far too many of them if I didn't have fairly strong will-power. Barring the 'Kiev-gate' incident of 2006 (I was served a Kiev which was still frozen in the middle, at a pub which I won't name), my Kiev addiction has gone from strength to strength, and I'm keen to sample as many varieties as possible. Whilst in the local heath food shop I noticed Tivall's '2 Garlic Butter Kievs' - a vegetarian version of the popular snack which costs in the region of £2.50. Instead of chicken, the Kiev is made from soya and wheat protein, which, to be honest isn't the most appetizing sounding meat substitute - the picture on the box looked delicious however, so I decided to give them a try. The Kievs can be cooked from frozen, either by shallow frying, or by popping them in the oven. With the latter option, they need to be placed on a lightly greased baking tray, and left at 180C for 20 - 25 minutes. Appearance wise, the Kievs look exactly like the non-vegetarian option, and when freshly cooked smell delicious. The breadcrumb coating is golden brown, I couldn't wait to try them - but how do they taste? I actually found cutting into the Kievs to be a bit difficult, as they are a little tougher than the normal chicken variety - however, when I finally managed, an ample amount of delicious garlic butter bubbled out onto the plate. The flavour was much more pleasant than I was expecting, and the soya protein tasted very much like chicken. I usually hate the fake meat taste of Quorn and other meat substitutes - but this was very good, and rather authentic. In terms of their ingredients, the Kievs contain; Rehydrated Soya and Wheat Proteins (50%) (contains Gluten), Vegetable Oil, Breadcrumbs, Water, Butter (9%) (from Milk), Garlic (3%), Egg White Powder, Wheat Flour, Salt, Flavorings (contains Celery), Yeast, Potato Starch, Pea Fibres, Onion Powder, Stabilizers (Sodium Alginate, Guar Gum, Carboxy Methyl Cellulose), Garlic Powder, Sugar, Spices, Parsley, Calcium Phosphate... and a huge list of vitamins which I'm not going to list individually. To be honest, the above ingredient list doesn't appear to be particularly healthy - and I'm always going to be suspicious of a food containing something called 'Carboxy Methyl Cellulose', whatever that is! Overall Tivalls Garlic Butter Kievs are really tasty, and represent a fitting Chicken Kiev substitute for vegetarians. It's definitely a food which I will buy again, and although the texture seemed a little tough, overall it's probably the most authentic tasting fake chicken I've ever tasted!