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When I was a little girl, I gave my mum a hard time eating my meals.
Unlike most children who despise eating their veggies, I ate mine cheerfully, but always gave back the meat untouched, which always made my mum a miserable and unhappy parent! She always attempted and struggled to alter my way of eating and to persuade me to eat meat and chicken by various ways. She tried adding colourful and appetizing sauces to meat; she offered chocolates for afterwards as a reward . . . sometimes I gave in and ate it but most times, all her hard work was of no use and totally a waste of time!
I never liked the smell or the look of red meat and the idea of seeing a lamb or other animal slaughtered to order to be eaten by us gave me the Goosebumps . . . so, year after year, I slowly developed a kind of phobia of red meat . . . and I drifted from being someone who rarely ate meat to being a non-eater! I am not really a vegetarian though . . . I can eat chicken (occasionally) . . . but sometimes I can even go off chicken for months!
Consequently, I grew up with a slightly different diet than the rest of the family. I was eating more fruits and vegetables while replacing the lack of protein by eating pulses and beans. Sometimes I craved a burger, so I went for a veggie, chicken or bean burger, but as for sausages, I stayed away from them, as I could not stand the smell of even the vegetarian options!
Then Quorn came to the rescue!
I first discovered Quorn products 6 years ago (in the UK) while I was browsing the frozen food aisle at my local supermarket (Morrison's). I had a closer look and explored their range. I relatively liked their range of products. I have now tried most of their range: minced Quorn; pieces; burgers . . . and what I like most . . . is that I found that they have sausages (which I never sampled before)!
What is Quorn?
All Quorn products are made from mycoprotein, a versatile and wholly vegetable protein (a complete alternative to animal proteins). Mycoprotein are from the fungi family, which includes mushrooms; it's nourishing, healthy and low in fat. What's more, it's high in fibre and high in protein; therefore, it's suitable for vegetarians. I have tried most of their range and I like their sausages in particular. They have quite a few sausage varieties that I am going to discuss shortly.
Firstly, I have to say that it is not fresh product; it is frozen and can be found in freezers (but for some reason ciao has listed it under fresh food) so keep in mind that I'm talking about frozen sausages here, and not fresh.
Now back to the Quorn sausages
They have Tomato & Basil sausages 250g; Cumberland sausages 250g-300g; Cheshire cheese & Leek Sausages 300g; besides the Original Surprisingly Hearty sausages 300g.
Tomato & Basil sausages
These are new to the Quorn range. This pack contains five succulent and juicy sausages and unlike the old 'veggie' sausages (that are mostly very dry, chewy and soggy) each sausage is quite firm, but tender and moist. These are good-sized sausages with easy-to-cook instructions.
The smell . . .
Before cooking a strong smell of oregano and basil is dominating the whole pack. After cooking . . . I can still smell the herbs combined with tomatoes and a slight meaty-like smell (with which I wasn't so comfortable) but at the end of the day it wasn't meat, so I will get over it.
The taste. . .
What I liked about these sausages was the presence of the tomatoes; the tangy tomatoes gave it a slight sharpness, and surprisingly it was well seasoned with basil and oregano: two pungent and strong herbs to neutralise the acidity of the sausages.
Having the first bite, I quite liked the flavour: luscious, succulent and tender . . . the sausages didn't taste like cardboard or rubbery. I detected a barely significant tinny taste and some bitterness (I'm sure that was nothing to do with my cooking technique though!)
I can give it 8/10 (not too bad)
Lovely succulent and tender sausages, these can be found in frozen and sometimes (rarely) chilled section; they come in a pack of 250g-300g.
Again, the sausage was seasoned well, with a mixture of aromatic, slightly strong smell and flavour, herbs like thyme, sage, parsley and chives (which have an onion-like smell and flavour) all in the quantities to accompany the Quorn's normal dry and tasteless nature, giving it a fresh, herby and encouraging smell and taste. You can really notice the difference once you cook it.
The smell . . .
I liked the smell, before cooking . . . a very aromatic and reassuring smell of herbs . . . but I smell more thyme this time, which is not too bad, also a concentrated smell of onion (maybe because of the combination of onions and chives). I wasn't so comfortable with the prevalent scent of onion but I wasn't so offended after cooking . . . I could still smell the wonderful herby bouquet and the smell of onions was slightly faded.
The taste . . .
I tried this 'beefy' sausage and I quite liked it. It was highly flavoured and has a strong taste of herbs but the cracked peppercorns been almost excessively much. As to the taste of onions . . . it was there and it was strong but maybe it is a part of the original Cumberland recipe . . . as I said before, I had never eaten meat sausages . . . so I leave that to your judgement! At the end of the day, it was worth trying but when you have had that sausage in the morning, make sure to brush your teeth, and keep your breath freshened up and chew a gum!
Nice and tasty sausage (8/10)
Cheshire cheese & Leek Sausages 300g
These sausages were also new to the Quorn family, with a slightly different recipe; using leeks and Cheshire cheese this time. I think meat lovers will enjoy this sausage.
The smell . . .
Raw . . . This time it wasn't too herby and I could hardly detect a spice in it. I wasn't so sure of the smell as it was a pork style: I didn't like the look and the smell of pork although it is a 100% vegetarian; the smell was too porky and meaty and so I was uncomfortable with the smell! I was slightly worried about the taste and I checked the box 100 times to make sure it's a complete vegetarian recipe. The cooking smell . . . I didn't like the smell, it was so very close to the original pork smell that I felt sick and opened the windows. It is a very strong meaty smell and no herbs to disguise it!
The taste. . .
To be honest, the smell had really put me off, even though the look wasn't too bad. I like all cheese varieties so I encouraged myself to have a little bite, maybe the cheesy taste will make me forget about the other smell and I did try it!
However . . . having the first bite (and holding my breath) I wasn't that happy! There was a slight metallic taste, the sausage was rubbery, chewy and had an awful lot of leeks! I hardly tasted any cheese there (the rubber?) and it was definitely meaty in smell and flavour therefore I could barely finish half the sausage before abandoning it. If you want a low-fat option which tastes like porky meat (even though it isn't!), go for it, otherwise, steer clear from it (that was what I did!) . . . not nice at all to me!
In my non meat-eater opinion this only rated a torturing 3/10.
Original Surprisingly Hearty sausages 300g
It was the original and one of the first recipes from the Quorn range. Again, there was not much excitement, with no proper seasoning or herbs . . . but at least it wasn't horribly meaty! It can be used in most cooking recipes that require the use of sausages.
The Smell. . .
Ididn't smell a strong aroma with these sausages; merely, a pretty normal smell: maybe some onions here and a little black pepper there but definitely nothing worth smelling! The smell has to some extent changed after cooking, a little meaty maybe!
The taste . . .
One word . . . acceptable! It was that, "WOW, but I can survive," after eating it. In addition, it was tasteless and bland, so keep your pepper and flavouring sauce next to you!
This is a good, flavourless sausage; better to use it as a part of a dish recipe, or to add some really well-seasoned vegetables next to it!
A considerable 7/10 from me.
After trying all these varieties of sausages, I decide that I liked the Tomatoes & Basil sausages best; they were well seasoned, with the right spices and herbs; tangy, moist and smells good.
Why Quorn can be a good option?
Quorn products can be a good alternative for meat. Some people may not like it and may prefer a beefy and juicy piece of meat, but for the other consumers who want a healthy and tasty substitute; I advise them to use Quorn. So much to choose from, bright and colourful choices besides . . . I would like to point some more reasons:
Low in fat and low in calories, one sausage contains between 52-70 calories, less than the calories in one apple! Therefore, it is the healthiest option for dieters and people who want to change their eating habits.
Because it is low in fat, it is low in saturated fat (only 0.1 %) as well, so it is not for diets only for that reason, it can be eaten by high cholesterol sufferers: they can enjoy a fat free meal that tastes a lot like meat.
It made out using only free range eggs
High in protein
High in Fibre
Low in salt
Time saving with easy-to-cook instructions; it can be deep fried, shallow fried, steamed, cooked in the microwave and BBQ as well.
Can be served with vegetables and gravy; it can replace the normal sausages in a traditional casserole dish, or simply be eaten at breakfast with eggs and beans exactly like the normal sausages but with less mess and less fat!
It is frozen so it can be stored for months.
Suitable for vegetarians
Is it for everyone, then?
Unfortunately not! For many reasons:
1. Contains eggs
2. Contains Gluten and wheat in view of that it is not suitable to gluten-intolerant people.
3. It contains milk and milk proteins so it is unsuitable for lactose-intolerant people as well.
4. It is not suitable for vegans because of the milk, eggs and cheese contents.
Apart from the above stated persons, however . . . it is appropriate for other consumers (if they like them).
Prices and availability
Fortunately it is available in most supermarkets and other smaller shops; it is available worldwide as well, but I have to mention that for some products, the ingredients and packaging may vary from one country to another due to differences in regional tastes.
As for prices . . .
Reasonably priced sausages which are suited and fitted for most consumers' budgets: prices can differ from £1.67 - £1.98 . . . but watch out for special half-price offers and BGOF in many supermarkets as they are having a war against 'credit crunch' LOL.
It might be not every one's favourite meal, but Quorn Sausages are easy and fast to cook; they can be a good substitute for meat or a new experience and a change for vegetarians; they are easy to store with flat small packs, affordable prices; finally, they are good for patients suffering from high Cholesterol, and for dieters as well.
What do I think of Quorn?
It is not perfect but it is a nice change from plain vegetables and pulses; my mum never liked the way I ate but now she is a lot happier; at least she doesn't have to think so hard about what to cook for her little fussy daughter!
Any room for improvement?
Yes. They ought to add more spices and less onion to the sausages; perhaps a dash of salt (although I can always add my own); more sausages (bigger packs) and more varieties!
I'm done now, the rest is up to you, whether you like Quorn or hate it! If you never tried it . . . well, why not!
Excellent review, I shall be back to rerate later.
xKatieeex 24.03.2010 18:13
I just made my brother sausage, gravy and mashed potato and now I'm craving sausages very badly. I came on Ciao to find out if there was any veggie alternatives and voila. Very comprehensive review and I'm definitely going to try these.