But, you needn’t go without your porcine fix (well, almost): because a vegan bacon roll is now on the market – and it’s said to taste as good as the real thing. Creators of the meat alternative, This Isn’t Bacon, have collaborated with Italian chain Coco di Mama to create the plant-based sandwich that “tastes, looks, and has the texture of actual bacon”.
The fake bacon (fakon?) base is made using peas, soya beans and flavourings to taste. And the company claims that “customers can’t even tell the difference”. A likely story? We decided to find out.
Here’s what our HuffPost taste testers had to say.
“The texture is good, with no stringy fat.”
Becky Barnes, Audience Editor
“This is the closest thing to something smelling like bacon (that isn’t bacon) I’ve experienced. The colour was a bit off-putting, but when I ignored that, I was really impressed. Obviously it doesn’t taste exactly like bacon but the smokiness, and flavour is close – and really enjoyable. The texture is also good, with no stringy fat, which suits me! I loved it in a brown baguette with lashings of ketchup for breakfast. As someone who is striving to eat less meat, this does appeal – but there’s another part of me that feels if you want a bacon sandwich, have a bacon sandwich.”
“It smells like bacon, which is odd.”
Brogan Driscoll, Life Editor
“Vegan bacon and I have history. One Christmas when I was briefly vegetarian, my mum couldn’t fathom the fact that I wouldn’t have pigs-in-blankets, so took it upon herself to wrap veggie sausages in orange vegan bacon. They were the driest things I’ve ever eaten, so when vegan bacon rolls rocked up to the office, I was wary.
“But coupled with the vegan margarine that lends a slightly greasy texture and warm delicious bread, I was pretty pleased. It smelt like bacon, which is odd. It’s hard to describe the texture – more cured meat than bacon, only thicker – and the colour is dark like bresola, rather than that pink porky hue. I’d definitely eat this again.”
“I really like it!”
Stephanie Bosset, Video Producer
“It’s bready, greasy and smokey... perfect. I really like it! The texture is great, I would totally have more of these if I weren’t dieting. And I’m not trying to compare it to meat, because I hardly eat it anymore. But for those meat aficionados wanting to cut down, this would be perfect – it’s satisfying and yummy. As an aside, my colleague had the second half of it and also loved it.”
“I’m not the biggest fan.”
Amy Packham, Assistant Life Editor
“I was impressed the whole sandwich was vegan – the baguette and butter, too. When I first saw the bacon I wasn’t a big fan, it’s quite dark in colour and thick like meat which put me off (even though I’m not vegetarian). I just wondered what it actually was that I was eating. The smell is good, just like bacon, but I found it to be a bit rubbery which weirded me out. It wasn’t a bad taste... but I don’t think I’d buy it.”
“It has a texture like cured meat.”
Jamie, SEO analyst
“It had the distinct quality of a service station bacon sandwich – smokey and meaty in flavour – but with a texture more like cured meat or jerky, stiff and crunchy. However, speaking as someone who loves bacon but has deprived themselves of it for two years, it did the job.”
The sandwiches can be bought from all Coco di Mama stores in London from 11 September for £2.95.