Wednesday, August 20, 2014

An exploration in faux meat part deux: Bacon edition

People love bacon. Here in America especially. Heck, I think they give pigs varsity letterman jackets in Texas, don’t they? From burgers, to breakfast, chocolate dipped and an accompaniment to almost any sammy, the average person in the US eats about eighteen pounds a year. I think I just heard my heart let out a groan. So, how should we trim the fat?

There are meat-free alternatives to bacon out there. My friends and I sampled three different products last night while sipping on rosé wine (It does pair quite nicely with salty soy strips, oddly enough) and out of the three there was definitely a clear winner and loser.

So, if you are a bacon enthusiast  looking for a healthy change, someone who abides by the vege-code or have a religion that doesn’t allow you to partake, you can put bacon back on the menu. Ok, the hoof stops here. Let’s begin the exploration:

Lightlife Smart Bacon - First off, how dare you? Secondly, how dare you!? This was not great. “A hippies, unshaved armpit,” are the eloquent words my friend used to describe. I’m well aware that none of these are going to taste like the real thing but this was borderline inedible. It was visually unappealing, mealy and dry. It does get points for color, though. Small victory. There is nothing smart about eating this bacon.

Upton’s Naturals Bacon Seitan - This product wasn’t too shabby, actually. I was slightly deterred when I took it out of the packaging, but the finished product was nice. The texture was satisfying and it has a good taste to it. Unfortunately, the taste, although meaty, didn’t resemble bacon flavor. Still enjoyable. My friends and I dubbed this product the, “Uppity Whole Foods Mom.” I’m not sure if it’s because that’s where I bought it or if we were making our way through that rosé bottle. I would for sure by this product again.

MorningStar Bacon Strips - Hot dog, we have a weiner! Hmmm, I guess it would be a soy weiner . . .  Anywho, this was the clear gold medalist. It tasted like bacon, and had a texture and shape that had some semblance of the real thing. Only one disparaging comment is the color, which was very much pink. It looked like candy. Taffy to be specific. Once you get past the color, you can visualize throwing it into an omelette and some of your other favorite recipes. The good news? I discovered this is also Chef Simone’s favorite bacon alternative as well!

I hope you enjoyed this edition of my faux meat exploration. It isn’t impossible to enjoy some of your favorite foods guilt-free, you just have to know where to look. Do you hear that sizzle? That’s the sound of you bringing home fake bacon! Enjoy.

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