The Best of All Possible Sausages?
May 19, 2008 (Updated May 19, 2008)
Review by henry_thoreau
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Outward appearance comparable to real sausage. Flavor (reasonably) comparable. Much less fat than real sausage.
Cons:Relatively dry texture. Rather high "sodium" content (much like "real" sausage).
The Bottom Line: Other than the disappointing dryness (which can be largely overcome via condiments or other means), this is reasonably comparable to "the real thing." But I wish there were less sodium.
Now, if this world were (my conception of) an ideal universe, virtually every meal would feature sausage [and no sentient creatures would have to expire to constitute it]. It's hard for me to think of any variety of sausage that I don't strongly savor. Whether we're talking conventional "breakfast," "polish," "summer," "Braunschweiger" or even "Vienna"--when it comes to sausage, in a perfect world I could snarf the stuff till I burst. And of all varieties of ultra-fatty meat, perhaps my very favorite would be good old "Italian" sausage
Recommend this product?
Alas, this earthly sphere is not ideal, and nowadays I never eat conventional ("real-meat") sausage. I'd really rather not risk clogging my arteries any sooner than necessary. However, a fairly satisfying substitute is the subject of this review.
When I initially espied this Boca Meatless Italian Sausage at my local Wal-Mart Supercenter (in the "frozen breakfast foods" section), I couldn't believe my good luck. Here were two of my favorite things, all in one package: Italian sausage, and low-fat "soy meat." I didn't even bother to note that the "Nutrition Facts" panel discreetly mentioned a slightly unsettling "salt" content (650 milligrams--or 27% of the "Daily Value"--per link). I didn't ask any preliminary questions; I just grabbed a package and headed straight home, ready to relish a rare treat.
Now, on the whole, I wasn't unduly disappointed. Both the outward appearance and the "spicy-Italian" flavor were, at least, reasonably reminiscent of genuine Italian sausage. And there was less fat than what I'd ingest by eating the real thing.
Specifically, each link has a "Total Fat" content amounting to 6 grams or 9% of the Daily Value; however, there's relatively little saturated fat (only 0.5 grams per link). That's a significant advantage, given that saturated fat can contribute to dangerously elevated levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol, which, potentially, could eventually kill you by clogging your arteries.
BUT [and, to paraphrase the immortal words of philosopher Pee-wee Herman, don't you just hate it how everything--or everybody--in this world seems to have "a big BUT"?], there is one (tolerably) disconcerting fact that distinguishes this faux Italian sausage from the genuine article:
Its not nearly as moist.
Indeed, I don't really recommend eating one of these Boca "Italian" links (by itself) with a fork. Instead, I suggest that you try one of the following means to "doctor it up" such that the relative dryness won't seem a deal breaker.
First, try grabbing a bun (or a slice of bread) and liberally applying your favorite, sausage-compatible condiment(s). For example, you could try adding your favorite barbecue sauce. I had acceptable results using barbecue sauce. At other times, simply adding some Kraft "Miracle Whip Light" to the bun (or bread) sufficed to make this Boca Italian sausage seem moist enough to please my palate.
Alternatively, I discovered that I could concoct a scrumptiously satisfying meal by slicing one of these large sausage links into little (approximately three-quarters-of-an-inch-long) segments and then mixing them into a bowl of meatless chili. To achieve this I've occasionally used thickened Hurst (brand) "Cajun 15-Bean Soup" as "chili."
Boca's Meatless Italian Sausage provides the lover of conventional Italian sausage a rather spicy and a fairly satisfying alternative to the real thing. Apart from having no artificial preservatives or flavorings, this soy-based product provides 13 grams of protein per large link (four large links per 10-ounce package).
However (especially if "blood pressure" is a concern), don't get carried away, lest you ingest excessive sodium (there are 650 milligrams--or 27% of the "Daily Value"--per link). For this reason, I strongly recommend you limit yourself to one Boca Italian Sausage per meal, which should seem more than enough, given the generous dimensions of each 2.5-ounce link.
Although this meatless sausage has a texture that's somewhat too dry to be fully as scrumptious as conventional Italian sausage, its spicy flavor and overall appeal are more than enough to provide an impressive compromise. And although each link contains some fat (Total Fat = 6g or 9% of the Daily Value), the near absence of saturated fat is a significant advantage.
Contrasted with the most healthful varieties of Boca's meatless products, this product doesn't really rank near the top of the list. For example, Boca's "Original" burger patties have no fat whatsoever. Unfortunately, that fact is all too apparent when you note an "Original" Boca burger patty's relatively unappealing (pale) appearance and unexciting (bland) taste. Thus are all choices in life problematic. Verily, the frustrated dieter could paraphrase Shakespeare: Why does Fortune never come with both hands full?
Serving Size: 71g
Servings per Container: about 4
Amount Per Serving:
Calories 130 Calories from Fat 50
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 9%
Saturated Fat 0.5g 3%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 650mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 0%
Ingredients: WATER, SOY PROTEIN ISOLATE, CANOLA OIL, TEXTURED SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, EGG WHITES, POTATO STARCH, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% SALT, WHEAT GLUTEN, SPICES, NATURAL FLAVOR (NON-MEAT), SUGAR, WASHED RAW SUGAR, MALT EXTRACT, PAPRIKA, DRIED GARLIC, SESAME OIL, BEET POWDER (COLOR).
Size: 10 oz
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