Catherine, something of a sausage roll connoisseur, decides to put Hooba’s various meat free alternatives to the test. Better for the environment, no doubt, but better in taste? We’re not quite sure yet…
What is it?
A range of meat-free burgers, meatballs, mince meat, sausages and sausage rolls, called Hooba. The common ingredient across all the items is mushrooms. They are added to blended oats, herbs and spices such as: white pepper, ground ginger, parsley, sea salt, dried apple, cayenne pepper and cracked black pepper.
They’re vegetarian and vegan, but they’re not neccesarily for the ‘clean eaters’ as the ingredients can include the likes of glucose syrup and vegetable oil [Ed: always read the label folks!]
How much is it?
Prices vary, here’s some ballpark figures;
Burgers, 4 pack, 500g, 89 calories per 100g £4.00
Meatballs, 12 pack, 300g, 89 calories per 100g £2.85
Sausages, 8 pack,320g, 98 calories per 100g £2.56
Sausage rolls, 2 pack,270 calories per 100g £1.99
Where is it available?
Those looking to reduce (but not necessarily remove) red meat in their diet; think ‘meat-free Monday’ types. The products are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians and may appeal to people who are looking to do their bit for the environment – industrial scale meat production has resulted in rainforests being cleared to provide grazing land for cattle. And it’s generally wasteful to grow cattle on land where you could grow crops instead. You know the drill…
In a nutshell:
A play on the Slovakian word for mushroom: ‘Huba’, Hooba have transformed the common and suprisingly protein-filled mushroom into a range of meat-free alternatives. They are certainly not the first to do so, and they promise ‘all the taste but none of the meat‘. An exciting proposition for anyone struggling to reduce their meat consumption.
With all that in mind, I tried the sausages with a simple side of sweet potato.
The sausage roll I heated and ate plain – good sausage rolls should need no condiments.
And in a bid to be super-healthy I had the burger with a salad and no bun.
Here’s what I made of it.
Price: There is a noticeable difference in price and calories between Hooba and many, more meat based products (generally Hooba are lower calorie, and cheaper than higher quality meat products. Whereas competing on price with cheap meat products is).
The flavour is better than much of the meat free competition: I have found meat-free sausages and meatballs to be quite dry and in need of copious amounts of sauce to be bearable. In contrast, the Hooba items are juicier and have more flavour.
The sausages are my favourite item – although paler than traditional meat based ones, these are tasty enough to be enjoyed plain. I am also a big fan of Hooba;s sausage rolls, which I think could almost pass for ‘real’ ones….
There’s not too much to fault with these, barring the burgers – I’m not a fan. I like my burgers juicy and I found these quite dry with too much of a ‘herby’ aftertaste. I don’t think you could pass this off as a real burger substitute at all…
Non-meat products will never taste the same as meat, but once you get that clear in your head then the overall taste of the Hooba products is pretty good.
If you are looking to cut down on meat, be it for health or environmental reasons, Hooba could work for you – though as time goes on, it seems the range of meat-free alternatives is growing. Which means that Hooba is a good option, but it is one of many. Why not try them all and see if you can find your very own perfect sausage roll replacement…?