At the Portobello Village Show on Saturday, I bought some vegan meats from Organically Yours, an Edinburgh-based food company specialising in providing for those on allergen-free diets. I bought one of their 'Better 4 U Vegetarian Burgers' and a packet of 'Happy Pig Vegetarian Spare Ribs'. I would be the first to admit that, in the packets at least, they didn't look too appetising:
|Organically Yours Better 4 U Vegetarian Burger|
|Organically Yours Happy Pig Vegetarian Spare Ribs|
I decided to give them a try though, and in fact I thought that they were really very nice! However, I do have one serious peeve with these products, and that is that even though they are advertised as "vegetarian, egg-free, dairy-free and gluten-free", and the owner of the company, Julia, assured me that they are vegan, they are not labelled specifically as vegan. I don't really understand why this is, and would love to see her make just one small change to proudly advertise them as a vegan produce, not least as I know that personally I feel much happier and more confident buying something that's openly advertised as vegan, rather than as "vegetarian, egg-free and dairy-free", which is frankly long-winded!
Anyway, on to the reviews:
Organically Yours Better 4 U Vegetarian Burger
I cooked the burger on Monday evening for dinner, just by gently frying it in a little vegetable oil for a few minutes on each side until brown, and serving with some mashed potato and chopped fresh tomatoes drizzed with balsamic vinegar.
The burger itself had a nice texture and held itself together well when cooked. The flavour was nice with lovely Italian-style seasoning and red onions mixed in and clearly visible in the burger, although the TVP base was quite strongly apparent and it did remind me quite a bit of other veggie burgers I've had, such as those made by Veggies of Nottingham.
As much as I did enjoy eating it, however, at £2 for a single burger I don't think I'll be buying too many of them! However, if they were available at a cheaper price to buy in larger quantities I would consider getting a few in and maybe freezing them, as I do like to support local, ethical small businesses where possible.
Organically Yours Happy Pig Vegetarian Spare Ribs
When I first bought these, I was so excited right up until the point when I got home, was thinking about cooking them, and suddenly realised that I had absolutely no idea what to do with them!
After some internet research, I concluded that they should probably be cooked in an oven for around 20 minutes or so, and probably basted in some kind of barbeque sauce. I didn't have any barbeque sauce to hand, so I decided to just cook them and see what they were like. Sadly for food porn lovers, they didn't look much more attractive cooked than they had done beforehand!
Luckily, they tasted a lot better than they looked, with a really excellent chewy texture. As I didn't have any barbeque sauce, I added a little vegan worcester sauce to them to counteract the slight driness which resulted from them being cooked without any basting, and I actually really liked them.
Unfortunately, the price was pretty high again, at £2.50 for the four pieces shown in the photo, and I don't think I would buy them very often as a result unless I could get them somewhat cheaper. However, as a new vegan product goes, I was really impressed with the quality of these and look forward to keeping an eye on what the company plans to do next.