June 11, 2010

Tofurky Kielbasa

Before typing up this review, I did some research on kielbasa, just to make sure I didn't say anything incorrect about polish sausages only to be told that there are different types and I am wrong and stupid. Turns out, there are different varieties of polish sausages (as I'd expected). With that in mind, I'll try not to make any sausage-ignorant comments about this Tofurky Kielbasa.

First of all, the picture on the package is grossly misleading. They are bright red in the picture. The reality is that these are sort of grayish beige. The picture had led me to expect a product I was pretty familiar with that I eat from time to time also called kielbasa (or polish sausage, or smoked sausage, depending on the brand that is cheapest at the time of purchase) that is more U-shaped and has a delightful spicy flavor. These were definitely not U-shaped, but that was okay, since I was really hoping they had the same flavor profile as the other sausage. Once I saw that they were gray instead of red, I lost some enthusiasm for the experience.

The package said they were "outdoor grill approved" whatever that means, but I didn't feel like firing up my little mini charcoal grill just for these sausages, so I tossed them on my foreman grill. Same basic idea, I reasoned.

When I get that U-shaped polish sausage, I like to eat it with some scalloped potatoes (although mashed is also good), so I whipped some of those up to go with these sausages, and some green beans, just to get a green vegetable in there.

I grilled them up, but not for too long! Side note, I'm intrigued by the paradox of directions on so many products that strictly warn you DO NOT OVERCOOK but then give you a time frame that is WAY too long. This package's grill directions only say, "Sausages only take a short time to heat up on the grill," carefully avoiding this paradox, but providing very little helpful information.

I was not terribly excited by the prospect of eating this sausage. It was still gray-beige, but now had grill marks. Still not the exciting bright red from the package. Anyway, I went ahead and tried it. It had sort of a peppery flavor, but not much else going on. The package claims the sausages have, "the perfect blend of fresh onion and garlic," but I would have to disagree. I tasted neither onion nor garlic. When combined with scalloped potatoes, whatever flavor was in there disappeared. It was just chewy potato flavor at that point, which was not terribly offensive, but not something I strive for in my meals.  The texture was pretty nice, however. Not mushy or too dry or anything like that. I just wish it had had an equally nice flavor to go with it.

The experience:
Texture - nicely chewy - a good "sausage" texture
Flavor - not much to speak of

Maybe, if I pick these up again, I'll try to cook it up in a soup or something, but the idea of enhancing a soup with the flavor of…not really anything…isn't terribly appealing.

Final grade for this attempt: C


  1. I thought that these were surprisingly bland. Kind of sad, really, since sausages are supposed to be loud and flavorful.

  2. Interesting, I have really enjoyed the Italian flavor Tofurky sausages (really great sliced on pizza), it's surprising to hear that the kielbasa is bland, but I've only tasted the one flavor. Maybe I'll cook them in some kraut and tomato Hungarian style.

  3. I'm looking forward to trying the Italian sausages - got some in the fridge right now! Good idea on the pizza - maybe I'll give that a shot when I test them out.

  4. It is true that "overcooked" soy does contain "carcinogenic" compounds.

  5. Kinf of long but - what the hell - there's not a lot of traffic here and it's an old post so maybe it will amuse *someone*.
    Yesterday: I noticed that Hormel Pepperoni was on sale tonight so I grabbed a pkg. It wasn't until I popped the 1st one in my mouth and bit into it that I REread the label; TURKEY pepperoni. *sigh* It's NOT pepperoni. It's overly peppered (way too spicy) turkey w/ red food coloring ad a strange texture that tastes pepperoni-ISH... but HEY - it's "70% less fat than regular pepperoni". NOT worth it. I picked up a can (jarred is BETTER but too much volume) of sauerkraut for tomorrow. My friend *K had purchased some kielbasa accidentally and asked if I would eat it. At first I said NO because I thought they were hot dogs and thought I read "Turkey" on the label. Ahh - but I was mistaken - they are TOFURKEY kielbasa. Uummmm... okay - I'm sorry, but that's like saying alcohol-free vodka. However - I have learned not to completely turn my nose up at tofurkey after my friend *M brought some to Thanksgiving and I tried it. Turkey it is NOT but it had a decent flavor. So I'm willing to give it a try. =)
    OK - my take on the Tofurkey kielbasa: I approached it as what it is - tofu shaped like a meat product. Unfortunately I forgot my sauerkraut so it was a naked taste test. I mean I didn't put anything on it - I kept my clothes on - I'm not a nut-job. (Not totally. Not yet.) Just like the turkey pepperoni it was too spicy. Do the producers of these things think that if they just add more spice we'll not notice that it's not what they're trying to make it? Kielbasa is NOT a spicy meat - so - why do that? I digress... approaching it knowing full well it was tofu... it was good. Not great. Not awesome. I am not going to go buy any for myself... but it was good. So Mom (Shirley) - now that you've gone all Vegan - go ahead - try it - you might like it. IMO it did NOT taste one single bit like kielbasa. It *might* resemble a spicy sausage in flavor - but SAUSAGE is in a casing ans has a signature 'snap' when you bite into it. This - does not. The texture is not even remotely meat-like except **maybe like that of a hot dog or bologna - but I don't eat hot dogs OR bologna (because I don't like the texture) so don't hold me to that. It's TOFU. I happen to LIKE tofu so it wasn't revolting. So - flavor = good. Spicy = too much for ME but if you like spicy it's really mild. Texture - tofu or MAYBE hot dog like but NOT sausage like at all. DO NOT try to pass this off to your friends as MEAT - it is not even close. Like Brenda mentioned earlier - IMO it would go over well in a soup or chili or sketti sauce maybe. // Sadly the little bag of carrots and sugar snap peas I brought for lunch yesterday and left in the fridge for today... the carrots are find but the peas all tasted sour! Eeww - nasty. I ate the carrots but even with my love affair with peas, esp sugar snap peas, I threw the away. So I'm considering a second Tofurkey shaped like a sausage, except I'm expecting this first one to give me heartburn any minute - even with my daily Prilosec!

    I hope this helped (or amused) someone. =))