December 10, 2010

Gardein BBQ Pulled Shreds

Last week I discovered, in a comment, that an employee of Lightlife is reading my humble blog. This is pretty exciting, and a teensy bit intimidating. Rest assured, however, that this knowledge will not affect my ability to perform my duties of rating fake meat honestly. If it's terrible, I'll still say so, because frankly, they should know

But this week, I'm going to talk about something unrelated to that. I'm going to be reviewing Gardein BBQ Pulled Shreds. The very first thing I'd like to say is that their website requires more dexterity than I'd prefer to learn about their products. At the top of the page is this picture gallery and you're supposed to click on the product you want to learn more about. The tricky part is that it moves when the mouse moves, making it really difficult to get the cursor exactly where you want it, without way too much fiddling around. So there's that. Website: D-

Now let's get down to why you're here - the fake meat itself. This is my first time trying out a Gardein product. I'd heard good things, so I was kind of excited. I tore open the plastic packet and dumped its contents into a saucepan on the stove. After a couple minutes, it was heated through and bubbling. One problem though, right off the bat. These were supposed to be shreds, and for the most part they were. However, and I'm sure this is just a random packaging error, about a third of the volume was consolidated into one big blob, rather than shreds. I tried to break it up a bit, but it was pretty stubborn, so I just worked around it for my test.

Before I potentially wasted a perfectly good bun, I popped a shred into my mouth, just to check it out. I was right to do so. The texture was definitely weird - very springy. As in, I bit down, and my teeth bounced back apart. The sauce it was in was an okay barbecue sauce. Not the best I've had, but decent. Unfortunately, it was overpowered by the gluten-y flavor of the fake meat. I took another taste, just to see if it was something I could get used to. The second bite was a little better, but still not something I wanted to keep eating. Even my exchange student, who will eat pretty much anything, opted for a veggie burger instead of this.

The experience:
Texture - Oddly springy
Flavor - The sauce was okay, but not strong enough to drown out the gluten flavor

Final grade for this attempt: C-


  1. Tracy - I love your blog and have been hoping you'd start reviewing the Gardein products. I had the same experience with these - actually I was prepared for a pulled-pork type substitute, and these did NOT hit the mark, but when I got in my mind they should be more like bbq chicken, it was a little better. But I'd seen such glowing reviews, I thought they were going to be amazing. Same thing with their buffalo wings - maybe you'll check those out. Gardein is offered in my local supermarket, so I was hoping their products would blow me away!

  2. Hey Catherine! I do have their buffalo wings in my freezer, waiting patiently for me to get to them. Hopefully they work out a little better than the pulled shreds. Also, check back next week for another Gardein review. :)