December 18, 2009

Morningstar Fake Bacon Strips

Okay, readers. I finally gave in and tried the Morningstar Farms Veggie Bacon Strips. I was very afraid of this product, due to its play-doh-like appearance. I thought - there's no possible way this could be anything like real bacon. How could it? But, for you, I tried it anyway.

I heated up a couple strips in a skillet - no additional oil or anything, as directed. The directions said to fry over low to medium heat, turning occasionally, until crisp. First of all, the culinary student in me wants to point out that you're not actually frying these unless you actually use some oil, but I'm not actually sure what to call this cooking method, aside from "heating" so I'll just let it slide. My impressions during the cooking process: it looked like fake food. You know, like that plastic food you see sometimes (at least, when I was a kid) where you can pretend you're eating breakfast with that lump of "scrambled eggs" and "bacon" and maybe some fake plastic toast? Anyway, that's what I was thinking of when I looked at it. This image was complicated by the fact that while it was cooking, this stuff smelled AWESOME. It honestly smelled just like bacon. I don't know how they managed it.

Eventually, it got to the point where I decided it was done, plus my pancakes were ready, so I sat down and stared apprehensively at the fake bacon for a few seconds, then put it in my mouth. It was crispy, alright. Just like a cracker. The craziest part, though, was that it tasted just like bacon. But it didn't feel like bacon. The experience was that of a realistically-bacon-flavored cracker. Not terribly unpleasant, but definitely not a substitute for bacon.

The other thing I feel like I need to mention is that as it cooled (which didn't take long, due to it being incredibly wafer-thin) the texture went from crispy and cracker-like to more chewy - not like bacon-chewy... more like wet cardboard-chewy. So if you're going to eat this stuff, don't dawdle - toss it in your mouth while it's hot, and make sure you consume it all right away.

The experience:
Texture - Cracker-like when hot, wet-cardboard-like as it cooled. No resemblance to meat in any of its stages, but the crispy stage wasn't entirely unpleasant
Flavor - Seriously - the bacon flavor was totally there

Now I just need to figure out what to do with the other dozen or so strips of bacon in the package. Maybe fake-BLTs?

Final grade for this attempt: C

15 comments:

  1. You thought the flavor was there? I didn't think so when I tried it. But maybe I was just too hung up on the blatantly un-bacon-like texture.

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  2. i usually barely overcook these, and if you do that it tastes generally like crispy bacon, the crispyness probably would have lasted more if you overcooked it a little bit. (just until you notice a bit of browning)

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  3. My favorite thing to do with these is crumble up the slices and add them to salads. I think they're way better when you're not trying to actually eat them by themselves.

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  4. I know this was over a year ago, and you probably don't have these anymore, but I've had good experiences putting them on pizza.

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  5. I'm a little past timely here too, but they're quite good in quiche as well! The flavor really comes through and the texture isn't much of an issue there.

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  6. I never had a problem with lack of crispness with these. They smell like dog bacon treats though. They taste like it too. Great when combined with something. BLT!! Sooo good. For breakfast, no.

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  7. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Delicious! This is a standard in our house.

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  8. I tried these yesterday in a sandwich with lightly fried egg whites and cheese. I lightly fried the "bacon" in a pan so that it was crispy when cooled off. I wouldn't eat the "bacon" by itself by any means, but it certainly contributed the bacon-y flavor I had been craving without anywhere near the calories of its original meat cousin. A "C" or even a "D" is more than fair if you are trying to eat this by itself, but when considered as a component in a larger dish I'd say it deserves a solid "B".

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  9. Cook these with a bit of oil until they bubble and crisp, and these are delicious!

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  10. I love these things! Yes to smelling like bacon, and having a taste like bacon as well. Mine didn't get chewy when cooled, I do cook them brown on each side, and they are so much better than turkey bacon for sure.
    I prefer them on the side with eggs, they get lost when used as a sandwich such as a BLT unless you really pile it on
    I also cook using Pam

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  11. These are so good in the microwave. Just be sure not to overcook them because they get way too crispy! I can't stop eating it.

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  12. The bacon strips are nasty. They smell and taste like playdough.

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  13. Heat in microwave and put on a toasted peanut butter sandwich. Love it!

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  14. Microwave them till they're good and crispy. Makes great BLT's and Bacon Egg and Cheese sandwiches!

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  15. If you fry it up with butter, the bacon flavor really comes out. As with most fake bacon products I have come across, a little bit of "fat" is all it takes to take the flavor from slightly resembling bacon to, I fooled meat eaters with my bacon.

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