The Daily Ping

The 5,000th Ping will be published on September 14, 2013.

January 20th, 2001

Battle of the Fake Food

Ladies and gentlemen, we welcome you to the first Battle of the Fake Food!

Given that I’ve been on a dietary change as of late (much less meat), I’ve been discovering that there are basically veggie (and sometimes vegan) equivalents of almost everything. I’d like to share with you my thoughts on these items.

Burgers: Veggieburgers aren’t unheard of, anymore. I think everyone has heard of Gardenburger, thanks to their very hep cat ads a few years back. But there’s also Boca Burger, which I have yet to try. Last night I had two Gardenburgers with the usual fixins (ketchup and cheddar on one, BBQ and cheddar on the other). The verdict? Very good. They cook up pretty much just like meat burgers. The overall flavor is unique in a good way; the consistency reminded me of ribs at times. They are spicier than meat burgers but not nutso. Overall, I give them a rating of 9 out of 10.

Hot Dogs: I’m not a frequent hot dog eater, but I do enjoy them now and then (plus they’re ridiculously simple to cook.) I tried the Veggie Dogs brand available at Whole Foods. I figured I’d try these out on the Foreman Grill (don’t laugh – it’s a good product) but, sadly, the grill wasn’t up to the task. The end result were slightly gummy hot dogs, with a marked difference in consistency versus the real thing. I will give them another chance, but not on the grill. The jury’s still out, but my holdover rating is 5 out of 10.

Ice Cream: If you’re vegan, Tofutti is your option. It’s amazing how much stuff they actually make – everything from pints of the dessert to ice cream sandwiches! I’ve enjoyed the Vanilla Tofutti, and it is an excellent substitute for ice cream. Consistency is dead on, flavor is spectacular, and it’s definitely worth your time. I say 10 out of 10.

Chicken Nuggets: These, along with french fries, have been favorites since childhood. They’re also easy to cook. Morningstar Farms offers Chik Nuggets, as an alternative to the real deal. No disappointments here. The consistency is close but not quite chicken-like but – and this is the test of any food for me – I can actually enjoy them without condiments. That’s good stuff. The price is right, too. The Chik Nuggets get 10 out of 10.

Soy Milk: We close with soy milk. It’s important to note that tastes vary by brand, sometimes wildly. And it’s nowhere near as cheap as cow’s milk. So, in my judgment, it’d better be something special. Thankfully it tends to be just that. I first tried White Wave chocolate soy milk to much applause: you can taste the difference, but it tastes quite chocolatey. Thickness is good, too. At my local Dominick’s, however, they feature the Sun Soy line. The chocolate milk is quite similar to White Wave in flavor but is just a wee bit thicker, which is fine with me.

The white milk is another matter. While Sun Soy claims it’s "good enough to drink straight", make no mistake: this doesn’t resemble white milk. It didn’t pass the milk and cookies test, but it blew through the milk-in-coffee and milk-over-cereal tests impressively. The chocolate soy milks get 9 out of 10, while the Sun Soy white milk gets shafted at 5 out of 10.

And there you have it. -pm

Posted in Food and Beverage

What is this then?

The Daily Ping is the web's finest compendium of toilet information and Oreo™® research. Too much? Okay, okay, it's a daily opinion column written by two friends. Did we mention we've been doing this for over ten years? Tell me more!

Most Popular Pings