February 19, 2010
Trader Joe's Italian Sausageless Sausage
Anyway, back to the matter at hand. Trader Joe's has been somewhat disappointing, as far as the fake meat experiences I have had from there. But these were in my fridge and had to be eaten sometime, so this was the week. I had a friend over who is also not a vegetarian, but he sometimes eats fake meat just for fun, so I had him try one of these too.
I cooked all four of the sausages up in my nice nonstick skillet in about a tablespoon of olive oil. I've learned from past sausages that a little bit of oil is pretty much necessary, both to form a nice crispy exterior and to prevent sticking. The pan was a little small for all four sausages, but I still got some nice browning. It only took a few minutes, and it was sausage time! Put them in some buns, and laid out a bunch of condiments.
Okay - time for the actual eating. I found the texture of these to be quite nice, actually. Unlike the other Smart Sausage Italian sausages I tried, I didn't notice the no-skin lack of resistance. It was nice and chewy. The flavor was a little bland. If I'm remembering correctly, the Smart Sausages had a better flavor than these. I'd have to try them side-by-side to know for sure, though. On their own merits, the Trader Joe's Italian sausages were pretty inoffensive, and fairly tasty, although bland. My friend who was eating these with me commented that, "they don't taste like meat, but they don't taste like not-meat either." I'd like to add that they also don't taste like fennel/anise, and they don't taste spicy. It's more about texture and whatever condiments you add to it.
Texture - I liked the texture a lot - nice and chewy without that noticeable lack of resistance I've experienced in other fake meat sausages
Flavor - pretty mild… ok, bland. But inoffensive!
Final grade for this attempt: A-