I'd been to the Whole Foods Market a number of times. Okay...we have a key to the store. [Apparently they give those out to frequent shoppers. Go figure!] -_-
For years I've been saying I was going to check out the vegetarian poultry product Quorn. I remember way back when, the late '90s, when they were making their presence known in the meat alternative world, when I attended the Natural Products Expo West, in Anaheim California. Great event!
If memory serves me correctly, they had a chicken nugget or at the least a chicken patty [non-meat, of course] that I thought was pretty tasty. Instead of using soy they used what is called mycoprotein. Translation - protein derived from fungus.
Okay... No biggie right? After all we eat mushrooms all the time.
Fast forward to 2010. I'm at the aforementioned store. I saw Quorn's frozen turkey-like product. I didn't know if it was new on the market or not, but I had been telling myself for years that I would have to try their line of products to give a better informed opinion to my community and my readers, but I would always forget to throw it in the cart. So I grab it this time right!
I mean we're in the holiday season and folks are going to want to know.
I take it home and follow the preparation instructions on the package, determining not to embellish it in any way. I wanted to taste it for what it was, before doctoring on it; so in the preheated oven it goes, at 425 degrees for approximately 45 minutes until golden brown. [You've gotta make sure you pierce the casing in a few places before baking.] This is what I noticed.
My first thought was, "Hmm... this looks a little weird, but I'm sure they've got the process down to a science, so it should be fine.", and then I began to see it take form. I wasn't really impressed with it, but I got over that. I was in it for the taste and texture. Then, I noticed another thing... The aroma...
As the aroma began to fill the house, I called out to my wife and said, "I don't think I'm gonna like this." Part of it smelled poultry-ish, while the underlying aroma smelled very foreign to what food should be. Somewhat alien undertones. I was immediately put off by it, but I determined I
was going to go the end with this one to get the full experience. I did. Here's the rest of my review...
- Aroma - unappealing
Taste - unappealing [the aroma really messed with the overall taste for me]
Texture - unappealing [it didn't deliver the tenderness of slow roasted, brined or fried turkey. Its texture was extremely dry and kind of snappy. Meat-like things should never be snappy!]
Presentation - passable [it had the look of turkey, the white meat, just only in a log formation. - I can live with that.]
Pairing - incompatible [we tried it with our homemade Cranberry - Cranberry Sauce, our Garlic Cream Mushroom Sauce and unfortunately, nothing worked. I haven't, however, tried all of their suggestions from their website, so I'll give them a partial, temporary pass and won't totally hammer the last nail in their coffin until I check a few more things out.
Ingredients - I was surprised to find that the product wasn't completely vegetarian. It's got egg whites in it. It also has peas fiber and wheat gluten. That does it for vegans and folks suffering with celiac.
Summary - It's not my cup of tea. I'm a vegetarian, but if I had to solely choose from products that delivered these results... I would definitely consider changing my lifestyle and food choices.
I said all of that to say that their product didn’t work for me, but who knows… It may work for you. If you’ve had a different experience with their product, I'd love to hear about it. Drop me a line!
As always, it’s been my pleasure sharing my feedback with you. Until next time…