This week, I'm reviewing The Original Gardenburger. I had a different review written this morning, but it was really boring, so I'm eating a Gardenburger for lunch today. Just for you, dear readers.
Now, Gardenburgers (at least this one - I haven't inspected their entire line) aren't really intended to be like meat, I assume. I infer this from the fact that these aren't made from a soy product, and make no claim to being like meat. It's mostly mushrooms, with some rice, some cheese, and then a jumble of seasonings and flavorings and miscellaneous other stuff.
I cooked one up, using the stovetop method. Tossed it into my super amazing nonstick skillet, and heated it up. Not sure if I let it go for the full 5 minutes on each side that the directions called for, but it ended up hot. Works for me. I applied burger to bun, added some ketchup (after a first tentative bite to see if it would work with ketchup), and went to town on it.
First up, the texture. It was kind of weird - a little lumpy. But since it's not claiming to be "meaty", I'll let this go. It had an okay flavor - a little bland, but I imagine it is supposed to be, so you can add stuff to it. I bet it would taste awesome with some Swiss cheese, and I fully intend to try that next time I eat one. (Mushroom and Swiss - classic combo!)
Texture - a little lumpy, not entirely unpleasant
Flavor - pretty bland - good base for making it whatever you want.
I was surprised that this didn't taste at all mushroomy, considering how many mushrooms were involved in the production of this product. So, if you don't typically like mushrooms, don't be afraid to give this a shot.
Final grade for this attempt: A-