Vegetarian Chicken Drumsticks with Curry Sauce. Sorry for the non-exact link - this was the closest I could get you. But it's pretty easy to find the product. (Click "Products" up at the top, then "Chicken Meat-Alternatives" on the side, then "Vegetarian Chicken Drumsticks")
First off, I'd like to comment on the copy on the box. I love to check out the promises companies make before I eat their products, and this one made some very big promises. "Vegetarian Chicken Drumsticks are completely meatless, yet have the same flavor, moistness and tenderness of your mother's homemade recipe." That's a tall order, even though I don't remember my mom ever making us chicken drumsticks with curry sauce. But okay, I'll give these a shot.
When deciding on a cooking method (the box lists 4 options: stovetop, oven, deep fry, and microwave) I went with the microwave option because it was the only one listed that didn't include defrosting them first. On the website, the oven directions don't say to defrost them, but I only had the box to work with at the time, and it says to defrost. I also pondered the irony of buying this vegetarian item that talks all kinds of talk about choosing to be healthy and then deep-frying it. But into the microwave they went. Within a very short two minutes, I had piping hot vegetarian chicken drumsticks and some pretty sweet curry sauce to go with them.
Before I get to the tasting, I need to comment on one thing. In the ingredients list, the final ingredient listed is "tofu skin". We discussed what that might mean, since, to my knowledge, tofu does not have skin. I suggested that, perhaps, they used tofu to create a fake chicken skin for the drumsticks, and it appears that I was correct. The website mentions that their drumsticks are "moist, tender and even replicate the skin of real chicken". The result of this replication, however, was that they came out of the microwave looking wrinkly. Not terribly appetizing, but I kept going anyway.
The picture on the box, by the way, I suspect was what these would look like if you deep-fried them. I wasn't expecting golden-brown drumsticks out of the microwave, but they were grayish and wrinkly. And the container of sauce in the picture is not the sauce that comes with the drumsticks. That is not the curry sauce. I think it is perhaps a sweet and sour sauce, like the serving suggestion information on the box. Apparently these are "great with BBQ sauce, sweet & sour or honey mustard sauce" but for some reason they sent them to me with a curry sauce. Oh well.
When it came time to actually eat these, I was not really that excited about it, but I did it anyway. I put the drumstick in my mouth, bit down, and then experienced the extremely unpleasant sensation of my teeth bouncing back, not having actually removed any of the drumstick. It was like trying to take a bite of a dog's chew-toy. Except more juicy and less squeaky. I cut off a piece with a fork and popped it into my mouth. Once it was in there, the texture wasn't too bad, but that first impression was pretty awful. I don't know how much of the texture was due to the microwave and how much was just the actual texture of the product. I think I would be willing to try these again and use a different cooking method, just to test that out, but it might be a little while. I need to let the memory of the rubbery texture fade a little.
Once I got past the texture, the flavor was… okay. Nothing special. The curry sauce that came with these was fine, but for some reason, it just didn't match well with the drumsticks. I think a sweet and sour sauce would be pretty good, and next time I'll probably try it that way.
Texture - moist, yes; tender, no; rubbery - that's more like it!
Flavor - not bad, but the sauce didn't work with it
Final grade for this attempt: D
8 hours ago