Saturday 29 May 2021

Plant-based Bacon

One of the most important things I've noticed about meat-free rashers is that you have to be very careful not to overcook them, as this will very easily dry them out and ruin them.

The other thing to note is, with the exception of the 'This!' options, they all tend to have a really smoky flavour which tends to stay with you for the entire day after eating.

This!: Isn't Bacon Plant-Based Rashers - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Chilled / 120g / Approx £3.00 (£25 per kg)

This! haven't tried to recreate the look or exact shape of bacon (like others have - see below), but that doesn't really matter because they've come up with rashers that have a meaty texture and flavour. It's my current go-to plant-based bacon. The things that could make these better would be a inclusion of the fat-like part that would crisp up along the edge, and the reshaping of each rasher to match that of a real one. But that should not at the expense of the thick, meaty texture that they already have, because this makes them so very tasty already.

This!: Isn't Bacon Plant-Based Lardons  - ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Chilled / 2 x 60g / £3.00

The lardons from This! are just as good as the bacon above. Really handy is the fact they are sold in a twin pack which makes it easier to use half the pack and keep the rest fresh for another day.

Richmond: Meat-free Smoked Bacon Rashers - ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Chilled / 8pk / Approx £2 (introductory price, so will be eventually be higher)

Richmond have done a great job so far with their meat-free sausages, so my expectations for these rashers was quite high. They are designed to look like bacon rashers, meaning they contain the meaty part and also a white part running the length of each rasher which resembles the fat. A really good thing with these is that the white part will catch on the pan and take on a golden crispiness if you get it right. You just have to be very careful not to overcook the meaty part when doing this, which is very tricky. Overall they were really tasty - they don't quite have the same meaty texture as the This! offering, so I've rated them slightly lower.

Plant Menu (Aldi): No Pork Streaky Rashers - ⭐⭐⭐⭐☆

Chilled / 10pk 180g / £2.19

Aldi's offering is pretty decent. The rashers are in the style of smoked streaky bacon and have a nice texture and smoky flavour. These work out really good value for money and are one of the better options when it comes to taste. Well done Aldi.

Plant Kitchen: No Pork Streaky Bacon - ⭐⭐⭐☆☆

Chilled / Approx 9pk / 180g / Approx £3

Marks and Spencers has produced a streaky plant-based version which attempts to imitate the look and flavour of regular bacon. Visually, it's a good effort but I find they look a bit like toy food. The texture and flavour were both ok, but I wasn't totally blown away by either.

Quorn: Bacon Rashers - ⭐⭐⭐☆☆ (not vegan)

Chilled / 120g / Approx £1.75

Frozen / 150g / Approx £2

For quite a few years, these Quorn rashers were the only mainstream bacon-alternative I remember coming across. They come in chilled and frozen options and the recipes are slightly different - there's not really a difference in the flavour between the two, but the chilled ones are lower in fat. They are quite thin and quite lacking in the texture department. If you buy them frozen you'll find the rashers are frozen together and it can be a bit of a pain separating them, Given how good other brands are getting, it might be time for Quorn to give their recipe a major overhaul.

Plant Pioneers (Sainsburys): Smoky Vacon Rashers - ⭐⭐☆☆☆

Chilled / 8pk / 88g / Approx £2 (£22.73 per kg)

Sainsbury's have also gone down the route of attempting to recreate the exact look of a rasher. While the texture was ok, it was more on the drier/crispier side which is not my preferred texture of bacon. The main thing I remember about these is the overpowering smoky flavour of the paprika, which really didn't work for me.

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