New year, new food furore as Greggs’ vegan steak bake arrived on shelves this month – and caused quite a stir, to say the least.
Many people – not least Piers Morgan – have been troubled by the word “steak” being applied to a product that doesn’t contain any meat. But others are here for it. In its launch week, the pastry product sold out in many stores nationwide.
But what does it actually taste like? And how does it compare to Greggs’ regular steak bake? We asked meat-eaters, veggies and vegans to try one and give us their verdict. Here are their honest reviews.
What the meat-eaters thought:
“Sorry to fuel a stereotype, but as a Geordie, Greggs holds a very special place in my heart, so my standards were very high. I’m not a vegan, but if you gave me this and told me it was the original, I’d have absolutely no trouble believing you. It’s delicious! I will absolutely be buying this next time I visit Greggs on my lunch, and I’ve now got my fingers crossed for a full vegan menu!” Cathie Swan, Production Coodinator
“The filling tastes like a normal steak bake to be honest – my basic tastebuds wouldn’t be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test. I probably wouldn’t buy it again because I’m not big on steak bakes. But if you’re a fan of Greggs, then fill your vegan boots.” Natasha Hinde, Life Reporter
“I swear by a steak bake – there’s nothing better to tackle the particular hunger that comes with a hangover – so I had high hopes for this. It could be The Steak Bake It’s OK To Eat... but it’s not. It’s too salty. The gravy is not gravy, it’s a sauce. The familiar stringy sludge of the steak bake is even more indeterminate here – made, somehow, worse by the fact I’m not even sure what I’m eating. The pastry is the same, so that’s a comfort, but, sadly, this is a parody not a substitute.” Jimmy Leach, Editor-in-Chief
“If you’re a fan of Greggs’ bakes then fill your vegan boots.”
What the veggies thought:
“Even if I accidentally bought this version of a steak bake, I’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference from its meat counterpart (I’ve recently gone vegetarian). Between the pastry and “meat”, you realise it’s the gravy that’s the best part anyway. The steak bake is my favourite option at Greggs and I’m more than on board for the plant-based option.” Beau Atherton, Video Producer
“I’m into it. I like it. Though, as a vegetarian, I’m unable to compare it to the genuine steak bake. A nice salty filling with buttery pastry left me feeling full and content. It hit the spot on a frigid, dreary January evening.” Sara Nelson, Senior Editor
What the vegans thought:
“Greggs’ vegan sausage roll improved upon the original but I wasn’t so sure about the vegan steak bake. It’s indistinguishable from the regular version. The pastry is really, really good and the gravy is Greggs’ usual fare: good texture and flavoursome. It’s arguably a bit lighter (or not as filled) as the traditional one. So it’s good, and if you’re someone who’s never, or at least not for a long while eaten meat, I don’t think you’re going to get FOMO from a steak bake, whatever constitutes “steak” in your world.” John Johnston, Senior Video Producer
“I’ve eaten one steak in my entire life and I think it made me ill, so I’m delighted to report this product doesn’t bear too close a resemblance. It is, however, warm and filling, with thick gravy and vegetarian mince inside (I’m led to believe the original steak bake contains larger chunks, so if you’re weirded out by those then fear not). Not to be sniffed at, unless you then go on to eat it.” Ramzy Alwakeel, News Editor