Battle of the Vegan Italian Sausages: Tofurky v. Field Roast Grain Meat Co.

A Field Roast specimen.

Although Field Roast boasted more recognizable ingredients, its texture was dry and crumbly and its flavor one-dimensional -- it registered as peppery, but not much else, though we did appreciate the heat. The fennel seeds were a nice touch, but, despite their better efforts, the sausage had about as much in common with real Italian sausage as a length of PVC pipe. Not only was it a poor substitute for the real thing, it was a poor substitute for vegetarian food.

A Tofurky cross section.

The Tofurky, on the other hand, wasn't bad at all. Its texture was, if not juicy, nowhere near as dry as the Field Roast's. It could almost be described as "meaty," provided you're a vegetarian whose definition of "meaty" rests upon very distant memories of actual meat. That aside, it was pliant and appealingly chewy, which is about as much as one can hope for from a vegan sausage. Flavor-wise, we tasted ginger, which was odd but not entirely unpleasant. In fact, owing no doubt to its prodigious amount of sodium (620 milligrams, or 25 percent of the daily requirement), the sausage was actually quite tasty, and even satisfying.

So despite the Field Roast's more enticing-sounding ingredients and premium in price, Tofurky wins this battle easily. It won't make you believe for a second you're eating an Italian sausage, but it won't make you rue your meatless existence, either.

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