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We review plant-based “meat” from The Very Good Butchers
When you want that plant-based meat and cheese experience there are more and more products on the market every year. Even if you’re new to plant-based eating you’ve likely heard of some of the big names like Impossible, Field Roast, Beyond Meat, Violife, Gardein, Incogmeato, and many others. While we eat mostly whole, fresh, veggies and fruits and regularly have cheese slices and shreds on hand for sandwiches and pizza, we totally understand wanting to have some equivalent to sausage or burgers—and we occasionally buy them ourselves. Because it can be hard to choose we include our impressions of various products in our reviews and today we’re taking a dive into a selection from The Very Good Butchers.
We recently found out about The Very Good Butchers and have been interested in trying their products, which we can’t buy in stores. If you haven’t heard of them yet, they are a Vancouver, Canada-based company producing a large selection of plant-based meats and cheeses. As they describe themselves “Fed up with the overly-processed meat alternatives available, our founders knew they could raise the plant-based bar. As trained chefs with years of experience, they set out to make the most delicious and nutritious plant-based meats they could, and in our humble opinion, they nailed it! Going from the farmers market to the butcher shop, they are on a mission to show that making good choices doesn’t mean having to sacrifice flavour.” Well, THAT got our interest!
It Was a Very Good Butchers Thanksgiving
So, for Thanksgiving this year we decided to order their Thanksgiving Box. It’s a sampling of their plant meats and includes their Stuffed Beast, Pepperoni, a package of Breakfast Sausage, Bratwurst, and a tray of Very British Bangers. We enjoyed the Stuffed Beast for our Thanksgiving meal and made several other meals with the rest of the box. We’ve given them a try so that we could share our impressions with you and help you decide about trying the products yourself.
The Stuffed Beast
The tradition, of course, with the Thanksgiving meal, and many holiday meals is some large piece of an animal as the centerpiece. At Thanksgiving, it’s usually a huge turkey. :-\
The Stuffed Beast from The Very Good Butchers is about the size of a medium loaf of bread and consists of one of their plant meats with some savory veggie stuffing inside. We noticed on their website that one of their cooking suggestions for the Beast was to wrap it in puff pastry and make a sort of Wellington Stuffed Beast. That sounded good to us so we decided to give that a try and it was a really great idea! The appearance and taste of the Stuffed Beast is somewhat like turkey dark meat if you’ve ever eaten turkey. The texture is very firm and easy to chew, the stuffing was delicious and, honestly, we would’ve liked a little bit more of it! Our summary: the taste is nice, the texture is good, and it is a great substitute for the flavors of a pre-vegan Thanksgiving meal. We give it two thumbs up.
Now, we both grew up in an Italian/Portuguese fishing town so it’s like pepperoni and linguiça were all-around at the market and in restaurants. The pepperoni pizza scene was particularly strong in our town! Therefore, we decided to give pepperoni pizza a try with The Very Good Butchers pepperoni.
But, first, our impressions: the pepperoni absolutely has the color and the aroma of animal-based pepperoni. It’s not as oily as some of them or as firm and cured as you may remember. Regardless, it has all the taste and it’s perfectly delicious and spicy sliced right from the package.
The Very Good Butchers even suggest trying it on a charcuterie tray and we think that is right on. This pepperoni would be wonderful served with some slices of vegan cheese on a platter at a dinner party or just as an appetizer for a relaxing meal at home. However, we are focused on pizza! We have tried various plant meats on a pizza, since we love pizza and regularly make it at home, but haven’t found something that will satisfactorily take the place of the pepperoni from our hometown. We are here to tell you that this pepperoni from The Very Good Butchers is just about as close as we’ve tasted. It made an amazing pepperoni pizza! this plant-based pepperoni is a winner! Another two thumbs up!
The breakfast sausage actually looks, feels, and smells just like the breakfast sausage you might buy in the deli at the market. It was actually a little hard to believe that it wasn’t! In addition, these aren’t wrapped in plastic like some other brands of plant-based sausages—they actually have a sort of skin. We cooked them right up in a skillet and enjoyed them for a meal.
Our first impression was that the texture was really great. It had the slightly crumbly consistency that traditional sausage has and was a very different texture and taste from the other products. We appreciated that The Very Good Butchers have taken the time to develop very individual styles of their plant meat rather than having something that seemed pretty much the same, just with different spices. These had a great flavor, were nicely spicy, and they cooked up quickly and easily with that appetizing browning from the pan. These were wonderful and we heartily recommend them. Two thumbs up!
We don’t have a lot of experience with bratwurst in our past, only having had them a couple of times, so we don’t have a lot to compare them to. However, these really stood on their own and like with the sausage, had a very unique texture and look of their own.
The flavor was mild and savory and the texture a little firmer than the breakfast sausage. They cooked up nicely, browned up really well, and complemented a plate of our Baked Beans absolutely perfectly. The bratwurst would be delicious in a bun with some sauerkraut and mustard, too—we can’t wait to try that! These were excellent, too.
Very British Bangers
OK, we’ve never had British bangers so we really had no idea at all what these were trying to mimic or even what to expect. They look similar to the bratwurst but had more of a hot dog-like flavor and these DO have a plastic casing.
The texture was denser than the bratwurst, or the breakfast sausage, and the flavor was good. We were split on these, Georgia thought they were just all right, and Greg kind of liked them. They were similar to the bratwurst but with a slightly different flavor profile. Since we don’t have much to compare it to it’s hard to heartily recommend them, however, we generally think these are something you absolutely should try.
The Bottom Line Review of The Very Good Butchers’ Products
For our first time trying the products from The Very Good Butchers, we are absolutely huge fans now and excited about trying more. The ordering process was easy, the communication from customer service about the progress of our order was quick and clear. Plus, they were delivered in a reasonable amount of time (apparently they make everything fresh for your order) and came securely packed. We are delighted to have discovered The Very Good Butchers and will absolutely be ordering from them again and trying more of their other products. They have quite a large selection on their website and we think everybody will find something that they will enjoy. We are enthusiastic fans and confidently recommend The Very Good Butchers! If you order some of these products (or the many others on their site), please let us know what you think in the comments at the bottom of this page.