What is it about bacon? It seems to be that weird sweetheart of the omnivorous world.
If you talk to just about anyone about their favorite meaty foods, invariably bacon will come up.
“I couldn’t be vegetarian, I just love bacon too much!” “Mhmmm, I love the smell of bacon frying in the morning.”
Not to mention the fact that bacon randomly sneaks it’s way into everything from fast food sandwich novelties to wedding hors d’oeuvres.
No matter where you look, who you talk to, it seems everybody loves bacon.
Which is why it is with a heavy heart that here we at VDS profess the truth: we’ve yet to find a vegetarian substitute that does bacon imitation justice.
And it’s really sad too because while we’re not “bacon obsessed,” we miss a good BLT as much as any vegetarian.
So let’s get down to: Lightlife Smart Bacon.
I’ll preface this by saying, like fish, bacon has a unique flavor and texture combo that is undoubtedly difficult for those fake meat inventors to copy.
But still Lightlife Smart Bacon, come on. This stuff just isn’t even close.
Let’s start with the good, and yes, there is some good.
The “bacon” strips are relatively easy to separate and have a smoky undertone that isn’t entirely offensive.
The taste is not awful, it’s just not bacony. At all.
The strips are also vegan and pretty healthy, ultra low in fat and with decent protein for their size. The nutrition could be a lot worse.
That being sad, I wouldn’t mind a couple more grams of fat if the texture could be improved upon.
The “bacon,” once cooked, becomes leathery and chewy almost to the point of jerkiness.
The appearance of these strips is unlikely to fool anyone.
No marbling, no crinkly scallop style wave.
Just flat, brick-hued rectangles.
If cooked in a decent amount of fat, the texture become slightly crispier and easier to eat, but the experience is still unremarkable.
We love so many Lightlife products but with these bad boys, all we can say is back to the drawing board!
What are they?
Strips of soy protein isolate and wheat gluten with natural smoke flavor added.
14 strips per a box at about $5 a box.
Pros: Vegan, very low in fat and sodium, high in protein. Nice smokiness.
Cons: Texture is a big swing and a miss.
Very chewy and hard to eat, lacking in convincing bacon flavor. Appearance is unappealing and homogenized.
What can they be used for?
Chopped up ultra-tiny and buried in a salad under loads of other tasty toppings.
Not recommended for eating on their lonesome or to star in that BLT situation.