Ah, the vegan sausage roll. It has caused so much debate, so much controversy. How dare a national institution like Greggs replace its normal sausage roll with a vegan one?…
Wait, what sorry? It didn’t do that? It just offered an alternative to vegans, which was arguably a smart business move considering the rapid popularity of veganism in the UK?
Oh right. What’s the problem then?
Well, with respectable figures like Piers Morgan giving not-over-dramatic-at-all reviews, the real question of how tasty it is has been squashed by the mainstream media.
1. Piers eats a Greggs vegan sausage roll
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) January 7, 2019
But fear not! I managed to track one down after three failed attempts. The lady at the till smugly told me that she didn’t think it was popular and this was the first one that had sold that day. I told her to not disrespect a Greggs pastry in such a way… Okay, I might have just quietly shuffled off and tucked in.
Bear in mind this is coming from a vegetarian of 12 years, who has tasted the best and the worst of the meat-alternative culinary scene. I’ve made my own veggie sausage rolls and also have had Quorn-branded ones. These vegan ones are made with Quorn, which explains why I haven’t seen the latter ones on the shelf for ages. This vegan sausage roll has clearly been in the making for a while. Crafted to perfection. Potentially.
The first thing you notice on the Greggs roll is the pastry. It’s not egg-washed (dur), so it is rather dry and does stick to the roof of your mouth a bit. But it has great flakiness to it, that is a very close replica to the real thing. The pattern on the top is quite pretty as well and entices you to take a bite.
What I was a big fan of was the Quorn sausage inside. Sometimes veggie sausages don’t have a sink-yer-teeth in texture, which can be a bit rubbish. Quorn are great at replicating meat texture though, and have done it again in this roll. The taste is also pretty scrummy. Well-seasoned, although as with most Quorn products, it could definitely use a dunking in ketchup.
This vegan sausage roll warrants an 8/10 from me. For it being vegan, it does the job with its tasty pastry and sausagey fake sausage. It’s definitely a great example to other chains on how to step up their game, and I very much hope to see more affordable vegan products available to buy on the go.
By Eve Smallman