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


fieldroast.jpg
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.


tofurkeypiece.jpg
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.


Have a tip or restaurant-related news? Send it to fork@villagevoice.com.


My Voice Nation Help
46 comments
jrsmith
jrsmith

I love Field Roast sausages (had one today, in fact), and I came across this article while doing a search on "wheat meat." I have to say, I'm surprised at the results of this taste test; however, my opinion is informed only by my love of Field Roast, as I've never tried Tofurky anything.


More surprising to me were the comments below. Many of them are rude and contain slurs against people who eat meat as well as disparagements toward the author of the article for daring to share his/her opinion about how a food product TASTES (subjectivity is at the very heart of a taste test). Is it so hard to voice your love of Field Roast without unleashing this flood of douchebaggery? What good is your lifestyle if you lack humility, compassion, and patience towards those who disagree with you? Out of habit, have you become so angry and self-righteous that you cannot carry on a calm conversation about vegan sausage?

gigivegan
gigivegan

I know this is a little late in the conversation, but, Field Roast, hands down!

madcapcat
madcapcat

Field Roast all the way! Also, I don't think they look overcooked. The crispier, the better!

charlesrreid
charlesrreid

Wow. Really? Field Roast is amazing and way way WAY better than Tofurky. I'm kind of flabbergasted honestly. 

aimee94
aimee94

When I was reading this, i was wondering what was wrong with Vegans, I almost quit claiming Vegan, started writing a response then looked up and saw 35 comments so I read the comments thinking maybe there is another side to the story and to be honest my opinion is about the same as everyone else's. So here it goes: It looks like those are a bit cooked well done! Field Roast is hands down the best!! I am a label snob and Tofurky has always confused me with their ingredients "Organic Soy" but not certified or even non-gmo certified. That's like me saying I'm a doctor and not proving it with my credentials wouldn't you think that was a bit strange? Especially if I had been in the business for years? I make it a point to not buy soy products especially ones not verified not ever, soy is one of the most over processed GMO foods and that is sad! It disgust me when I go to buy things that have ingredients like "Soy Protein Isolate" or "soy protein concentrate" Gardien burgers are filled with that crap and don't get me started on all those fancy restaurant's out there that think they are doing Vegans a favor serving this and when you ask to skip the patty they freak out and send the chef to your table! I always buy things that have ingredients that I would eat alone separately, for example field roast italian has eggplant, red bell pepper & garlic & onion I have these things in my kitchen right now! I served my sister italian field roast crumbeled in a food processor with baby bellas stuffed in a portabello and a bit of Daiya Motzarella Cheese. (My version of Vegan junk food, its really good) My sister hates Vegan food because she calls it FAKE I've been working her for years saying my diet is plant based just give it a try she finally cracked and tried this and she LOVED it and when I read her off the ingredients of the Field Roast she was completely happy with it, because its all whole foods, now if I served her Tofurky she would have stormed out of my house angry, because she hates Tofu. Tofurky has no place in my kitchen it will never ever end up there and if it does it will go in the garbage it wouldn't even go to the starving homeless person, I rather give them an apple or some honeydew melon or some beans and rice! I'm very defensive on foods that make vegans look like ignorant idiots and Tofurky is one of them. Tofurky certify your sh*t but then again you still won't get my vote, not all companies can be perfect so for that matter Field Roast certify your sh*t too, !! Sorry, if I offended anyone with my strong comments but apparently I am passionate about this!! Animal hot dogs/sausages Cute piggy's, Cows and Dogs whatever are inside them is way worse for the body, environment and for furry creatures all over! I applaud all of us for eating healthy & compassionate alternatives! I am climbing down from the soapbox, and allowing the next person their turn, enjoy your wieners! The End!

Lilium
Lilium

The only tofurkey product I buy is tempeh bacon.

Sunni Brock
Sunni Brock

And I say that based on the photos!!!!

Sunni Brock
Sunni Brock

I think you confused the two once they were in the pan. LOL!

Ikoiko1
Ikoiko1

Field roast is hands down the better sausage! Especially when crumbled up first and sauted. Makes the best taco meat but the apple sage is actually good in anything

hole
hole

anything else you review i will buy the opposite based on your insane opinion.  whatever.  everyone hates tofurky even vegans, get that right.  field roast would be worth 7.99, it's kick ass.

Laura
Laura

My husband and I did a "taste test" between Field Roast and Tofurkey sausage. Field Roast tasted SO MUCH BETTER. The only thing better about the Tofurkey is that the texture is more like the "real thing", enable you to roast it on a stick while camping.

Jamie Peck
Jamie Peck

Throwing one more on the pile for Field Roast here. Maybe you mixed them up? The Field Roast sausage also looks a bit overcooked. And although the Field Roast contains a good amount of unsaturated fat, it's not as fatty as a real sausage so you probably need to coat the pan with oil before you toss it in.

Field Roast is also devoid of processed soy, which is good, as that ingredient isn't too good for you and it's something bloodmouths love to point out when trying to tell me my diet is unhealthy.

As you can see, us veggies feel pretty passionately about our Field Roast products. I demand a re-match featuring the holiday roasts of both companies! And maybe throw in some Quorn, Match, Gardein, Foodswings seitan roast, etc. for good measure.

Nicholas
Nicholas

Field Roast is hands down the winner. Microwave a tofurky sausage and tell me how that works out for you. It's like eating a sponge. I'll spend the extra money of Field Roast any day.

Skalite
Skalite

I agree with the previous commenters, you over cooked the Field Roast.

and this

However, the Tofurky Thanksgiving Roast's singularity also means that it has almost no worthy competitor -- or at least one we could find on short notice -- which is why it isn't, sadly, featured in this Battle of the Dishes.

Is ironic, given that Field Roast makes a dish, by which the company's name is generated. The "Roast" in "Field Roast" comes from the original product, which is again far superior to the Tofurky Thanksgiving Roast. Here's link to the "Celebration Roast" which has stuffing in the middle like he Tofurky roast:

http://www.fieldroast.com/fiel...

Anna
Anna

Does anyone know how to make tofu that tastes delicious - you know, the way Pukk in the East Village does it? I am so over these salty tofu sausages.

Paula P.
Paula P.

Field Roast DOES make a Thanksgiving Roast equivalent, called an "En Croute". It's their normal roast wrapped around either Cranberries & Fig or Hazelnuts & Ginger--then the whole glorious thing is wrapped in puff pastry. I also agree with the other commenters: Field Roast is FAR superior to the homogenous paste from which all Tofurky is extruded.

L. Pic.
L. Pic.

I'm confused what the point of this article was supposed to. Was this an actual food critique or some animal eater bitching that vegan sausage doesn't like hooves and lip bits? No shit it doesn't.

Aside from that, anyone that doesn't like Field Roast products, obviously needs to go back eating Big Macs and other shit for meat products.

Andrew Walker
Andrew Walker

I'll agree with pretty much all commenters, Field Roast > Tofurkey. Hands down.

Ruj
Ruj

No competitor to Tofurkey's Thanksgiving Roast??? Ever heard of the Field Roast's Celebration Roast?

Ever thought that perhaps maybe you're just a bad cook? Maybe you should stick to reviews where professionals cook the food for you....

Katherine
Katherine

Seriously? Are you an undercover agent for Turtle Mountain Foods? Or did you badly burn your mouth right before you did this taste test? That's the only thing that I can imagine would explain your calling Field Roast flavorless.The only criticism I can give Field Roast sausages is that the packaging in a pain to open, and extracting them from the packaging sometimes makes the sausages fall apart. This certainly doesn't happen with the super-dense (and kinda yucky)tofurkey sausages.

Nicole
Nicole

For serious? Who would in their veggie-lovin' mind would pick a Tofurky sausage over a Field Roast sausage?

Rather than restating what's already been said, I do have to admit that after having a Field Roast sausage I'm forever ruined in being able to enjoy anything like Tofurky, Yves, or Light Life sausages. They simply can't compare to Field Roast.

Give the apple-sage Field Roast sausages a try. Those beauties rarely last a day around anyone in my family.

denise nemeth
denise nemeth

I disagree whole heartily. I have been a vegan for 14yrs. I find toturky products horrible. I was ashame to serve to my friends who are meat eaters. I did serve meatgrain products to them and they thought it was real meat. Now I thnk that is a true test. Following suggested cooking methods are important. Makes the difference between pleasurable experience and what you experienced. Thank youfor the opportunity to comment.

michelle r.
michelle r.

I am very appreciative that there are enough Vegan sausage products to even have a battle. Keep 'em coming, & if something beats out another, well, it's just a sign to make your product even better.

Now, my opinion between the 2...Tofurky is a much more convenient & budget-friendly Vegan sausage -- however, if you're comparing flavor, texture, & having a true satiating experience...I'd rather spend my money on Field Roast every time. It may be a little more, but it's worth it to have a better outcome for your meals, whether it's the main ingredient, or added to a dish. I've served both to my meat-lovin' friends, and they have all preferred the Field Roast over Tofurky. In a pinch though, when I can't find Field Roast, I am thankful for having Tofurky as a backup plan.

Anna
Anna

No way, Field Roast has it all over the Tofurky stuff!

Allison Tray
Allison Tray

Field Roast is a superior product. The best of their sausage variety in my opinion is the Apple/Sage. I have never been disappointed with FR and have made the best "Bolognase" with the italian sausage for as meat eater. She loved it. FR is just a scrumptous line of quality products.

Jason
Jason

I fear to know what these people must have done to the field roast sausage! Field Roast sausage is so much better and has a much better texture. The Tofurky products in general give vegan/veggie products a bad name! They may have better marketing, but they have been long since surpassed by other fantastic companies like Field Roast and Match. Not everything has to taste like processed rubberized goo.

Diane Strada
Diane Strada

I made an extraordinary pizza using Field Roast Italian sausage...pure awesomeness!

Quyen
Quyen

Wow... Field Roast products are, hands down, the best vegan/veggie products available. I have tried both the Field Roast sausage and the Tofurkey sausage and found the latter quite disappointing. The Tofurkey sausage tasted rubbery and overly processed as well as super salty. My favorite Field Roast sausage is the apple sage sausage, but the Italian flavor is also up there, very full of flavor and tastes very hearty.

Rachel
Rachel

I have to agree with everyone else, Field Roast sausages are far superior to Tofurky. I'm not saying I don't enjoy the occasional Tofurky Italian link (especially sauteed and served over pasta), but Field Roast is spectacular. I wonder if your prep method is to blame. I can eat the apple sage sausages raw, they are so good!

Aungkhu-t
Aungkhu-t

My assumption is that the author of this article was or is a meat-eater. That being said, someone born and raised vegan, like my son, wouldn't really care about it tasting or looking like sausage since he's never had meat. But I do agree with the previous posters that Field Roast products taste better.

denise Lingerfelt
denise Lingerfelt

This is crazy! The field Roast is many many times better than Tofurky.

Shaun Mulligan
Shaun Mulligan

I have to disagree with this food critic. The Field Roast products are far superior than Tofurky. Let's be honest, When you prepare any type of Italian sausage for a meal, most folks would have this with a marinera or other type of tomatoe sauce. On a side note, I just tried the Field Roast Meat Loaf and is an excellent vegetarian choice for those who miss regular "meat loaf".

CAROLYN
CAROLYN

no contest Field Roast blows Tofurky away.

since those are REAL ingredients..you shouldnt over cook them...and they wont last til the end of time...but mmmm, real tasty. you should try their smoked apple and sage ones! their celebration roast too

three cheers for the growing list of tasty animal free meats and cheeses.

todd
todd

Seriously??? You picked Tofurkey over Field Roast. Blech.

Tofurkey is pedestrian wannabe faux meat, while all Field Roast products are amazing grain meats (they aren't trying to fool you into thinking they're replacements for animal products). Maybe that's your problem, you wanted something to replace meat. Why not ask a longtime vegetarian (with some semblance of taste; not one of those morons who subsides on frozen, salt-laden, TVP faux-meat products) to pick between the two?

Shameful.

Dani
Dani

I'm in agreement with Adam. I have had plenty of both brands, and Field Roast blows Tofurky away. Never dry and crumbly, just full of complex flavor and very sausage-like texture. Tofurky sausages are more like seasoned hot dogs, but maybe that's your thing.

Adam
Adam

Weird.. i've never liked the tofurkey, and never found the field roast sausages to be dry or of undesirable texture. i also usually cut them, then fry them, and not NEARLY as dark as you've fried them here.. maybe they were overcooked? from the appearance of the picture, i'd say so.

mmln
mmln

@gigivegan  I guess we're both late then because I just got here too and I couldn't agree more that FR wins hands down.

ksks
ksks

@aimee94 this comment really could have used more periods. 

Wilk Ken
Wilk Ken

 I just ate my first Tofurky Italian Sausage. Argh! What garbage!  I don't expect tofu ever to taste like the real thing, but the Tofurky company should be embarrassed over this product. It has absolutely no resemblance to real Italian sausage in flavor or texture. Also, it is incredibly high in fat. 44% fat in one serving?  Are you kidding me? What's the point of producing anything in tofu if it is going to be that high in fat?  Tofurky just lost my business, period.

vertigo11189
vertigo11189

@Nicholas  You shouldnt be using the microwave in the first place.

madcapcat
madcapcat

@Nicholas  That's because microwaving is gross.

Joy
Joy

Oh I know! the apple sage sausages ARE amazing! Try them with SantaCruz organic apple apricot sauce! DOUBLE DELISH!!!!

Joy
Joy

Field Roast's smoked apple and sage sausages are amazing! I cut them in half lenghwise and browned in a little olive oil and ate them with organic apple & apricot sauce.......VERY reminicent of pork chops and apple sauce, only better! yuuuummmmm!!!!!

VeganPam
VeganPam

They have almost the same ingredients and field roast actually has MSG but hides it by putting it as "natural-flavored yeast extract". Field roast may look nicer or cost more but it's almost the same as tofurkey (except tofurkey is msg free).

madcapcat
madcapcat

@Wilk Ken Fat isn't bad for you. It's necessary for proper brain functioning and development. The fat from animal products is what should be avoided.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...