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.
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