November 26, 2010

Yves Meatless Pepperoni

Back when I was first trying to research fake meat and not having much luck finding what I was looking for, I read a lot about a brand of fake meat from Canada, Yves Veggie Cuisine. People RAVED about their products. So when I finally found them in one of my local stores, I was pretty excited to try them out. The first product of theirs that I'll review is Yves Meatless Pepperoni.

The plan for this was to throw it into a stromboli, but I was worried about the results, so I also picked up some real-meat pepperoni, just in case. Before actually baking it into the delicious homemade pizza crust, I had to check them out.

Visually, these kinda resemble pepperoni, if all you know about pepperoni is that they are small round red disks. The biggest problem was merely a random occurrence, which I'm sure most packages wouldn't have - a couple of the slices, instead of tiny specks of mysterious colored substances, had huge blobs of mysterious colored substances. One was yellowish, the other was a grayish brown. Neither looked terribly appetizing. I did not eat those two slices.

The next step, after visual inspection, was to smell them. Not that I could help it - as soon as I opened the plastic, I was hit with a terribly unpleasant smell - that intense gluten-y flavor that I just knew would translate to the flavor as well, and I was correct. It had no flavors that one would associate with pepperoni. It wasn't just that they tried to make it taste like pepperoni but it came out mildly pepperoni-ish… there was no spice whatsoever. The ingredients list indicated that the product contained "spices, garlic and onion powder" but obviously not enough to actually taste them.

Now that I've bashed the appearance and the flavor, let's talk texture. For those who may not remember because it's been too long, real-meat pepperoni is kinda greasy (let's not lie here…) and chewy. This stuff was a little crumbly. It sort of fell apart in my mouth while I was attempting to chew it, which was extremely unpleasant. To be fair, I didn't cook it at all, and it's possible that the application of heat does something to the texture to improve it. If the texture were the only problem, I probably would have tested that out, but I know for a fact that heat would not add pepperoni flavor to something that had none to begin with, so I ended up ditching these and resorting to my real-meat pepperoni.

If you're looking for a fake meat substitute for pepperoni, do not eat these. Instead, try these instead.

The experience:
Texture - crumbly and weird
Flavor - horrible… just horrible

Final grade for this attempt: F


  1. These taste way better when cooked. Kinda weird, but cooking it does improve the flavor. I'd never it these uncooked.

  2. Agreed. These are not for eating uncooked. They taste really good thrown on a homemade pizza in the oven. I eat meat, and I ALWAYS prefer these on a pizza. But you have to be aware that they arent Pepperoni and wont have the exact same texture.

  3. My package is different and called Yves Veggie Pizza Pepperoni-- perhaps that's because I am in Canada, or maybe they've altered the product. It did smell strange uncooked (a bit like black liquorice)but cooked the texture and taste are fine. It does taste like pepperoni. No, it's not greasy, but the cheese on top is greasy enough.

    My roommate also thinks it is tasty.

  4. I hate these pepperonis in any form. I've tried them a few times, only because I forgot that I hated them so much the first time. Ugh. The regrets of my life...

    I tried them cooked on pizza and in a baked ziti and they tasted like tar both times.

  5. Maybe you got a bad batch, because I tried these randomly when making vegan pizza and when I opened the package I thought the smell was quite similar to pepperoni. So much so that I had to double check and make sure I had actually purchased the Yves brand. Once you cook them they are amazing. I even put some on a veggie burger with vegan pepper jack cheese and it was to die for. Perhaps when reviewing these products, instead of comparing them to the their "animal-ly" (yes i made that word up) counterparts, you should take them at face value. If you compare a veggie burger to a beef burger, of course there will be major differences.

  6. hey everyone, I have to say its kind of unfair to compare these meatless slices to real pepperoni honestly. Pepperoni's flavor mostly comes from the fact that it's meat and not much has to be done to enhance the flavor. Whereas, this is a soy based product from scratch so no it's never going to taste remotely the same but it is pretty nice. It's great in a nice sandwich and even better underneath cheese on a pizza.

    1. If it's not meant to be compared to pepperoni, why would they put "pepperoni" all over the packaging? They should call it something else if it's not supposed to be anything like pepperoni.

      Also, pepperoni has a great deal of spices added to the meat - otherwise it's just pork.

  7. I bought these because they were on sale at Whole Foods and I didn't feel like the trouble of making a pepperoni seitan recipe I'd found from scratch. Since I didn't make from scratch I can't compare but these did not taste good, bad or indifferent - just pretty much nothing. Didn't notice any smell whatsoever when I opened the package which should have been a big hint. Won't buy again.

  8. I love these madly. They are far and away the best tasting, easiest to use, cooks up best vegan pepperoni on the market. I wish I could find them—all my local stores discontinued carrying them.

    Anyway, I don't agree with your review at all; if any other vegan has access to these and is afraid to try them, don't be afraid. Yves Veggie Pepperoni is amazing.