As advertised, I finally re-dipped my toe into the ocean of vegetarianism last night. Been here before, of course – I was a veggie from 1986 to around 2005. If that’s a bit vague it’s because it fizzled out rather than came to an abrupt halt. It still rumbles on, in fact, as I have regular veggie meals. It’s just not full time.
I have, as regular readers will know, had several abortive attempts at a return to veggiedom, of which this is the latest. Attempted return, that is, not necessarily abortive. Yet 😉 And not entirely veggie, I’m afraid, Until my legs can be stopped from leaking (lymphorrhoea), my best – only – chance of survival is a high-protein diet (I’ve covered this in detail elsewhere ), and I don’t see that I can get this on a veggie diet. True, it would be absolutely fine at providing normal levels of protein – we don’t need a hell of a lot, just a few ounces a day – but I doubt it would compensate for my losses, so there will be meat and fish here and there, usually for lunch
Last night, then, it was a choice between two of Old Mother McCartney’s Cheese, Leek, and Red Onion Plaits (could be allium overkill here – leeks being far more assertive than red onions), or a pair of Quorn Mince and Potato Pies.
I settled on the Quorn pies and I have to say that, finally, after several decades of failing miserably, they’ve got the texture of the mince spot on. Pity it ends there.
These do have the capacity to be really good pies, but they seem utterly devoid of seasoning and – almost – of flavour. Back in the mid 80s, Sainsbury’s did a family steak pie, and hidden on the back of the box was the fact that a proportion of the “steak” was Quorn. But here’s the thing – there was no way of telling which was meat and which was pretending – it was all the same taste and texture, which proves that, even in the early days, Quorn had the capacity to be very much better than it has ever been under its own label.
Anyway – the pies. Lots of mince, great texture, poor flavour, studded with undercooked bits of potato and carrot. There was, allegedly, onion and swede in there too, but if there was it eluded me.
The pastry case was odd, too, the base appeared to be short crust while the top was definitely puff not, for me at least, a happy combination – I prefer all short crust.
So, to sum up, what we have here is a product with great potential, profoundly let down in the execution and that, I’m afraid, sums up the entire Quorn experience for me, and always has.
In my freezer, though, I have several packs of Quorn sausages, which I’m going to prepare with beans of various sorts (some even Heinz baked beans). They will not, however, no matter how traditional it is with sausage and beans, be fried, as there’s a better way – watch this space…