I have long been a fan of the ‘meaty’ texture of jackfruit and featured a recipe for making your own version at home using the tinned variety (which you can see here). Many friends have tried it when out in veggie restaurants and have been impressed with how it replicates the appearance and consistency of pulled pork.
Tesco have been a market leader when it comes to vegan products, especially with their Free From cheeses and desserts, so it was great to hear that Sainsbury’s were launching a range of vegan friendly meat alternatives as a way of clawing back some of the footfall from its high street competitor. I have yet to see the Vivera range of kebab ‘meat’, although I have heard that it is similar in taste and texture to a range that Lidl launched last summer. It would be great to see this more widely available throughout the country.
It was actually surprising, therefore, to see the Pulled Jackfruit and Mushroom Mince Sainsbury’s have recently introduced in my local store. I have a theory that any new products seem to take an age to reach us here in the North, which is frustrating when you see Facebook posts and want to give them a try for yourself. I made a beeline for the Free From section, but my store seemed to have these alternatives amongst the ‘standard’ lines. This could be a positive as it may encourage others to give them a try, but it made for a game of Hide & Seek for me!
First to be tried out was the Mushroom Mince, which I used to make family favourite Bolognese. A quick fry with some onions, garlic and diced peppers and it was ready for my homemade tomato sauce.
Texturally it wasn’t far off ‘the real thing’ and the earthy flavour definitely works with the sweet tomato, but I think I’d probably prefer using their soya based frozen mince in future. To be honest, you could buy a packet of mushrooms and knock this up yourself for cheaper. I’d thought they may have added some seasoning to the mushrooms to justify the development of this product. I can’t help but feel that the amount of plastic packaging is also wasteful. Currently on Introductory Offer for £1.20.
My favourite part of the dish was using my new recipe for raw parmesan, which I could eat by the jar. You can find the recipe here.
The Sweet & Smoky BBQ Pulled Jackfruit will be popular with those who are time pushed. 30 minutes in the oven and then a quick fork-through before serving. I felt the sauce was a little bland compared to the sauce I prep for my homemade version, but that’s just a personal preference.
It was easy to prepare and definitely got the thumbs up. It’s great to see these alternative products becoming widely available in the supermarkets, especially when this meat substitute is healthier and better for the environment. We served ours with salad and wraps, but it would well with rice or wedges too. Currently on Introductory Offer for £2.50.
I was also pleased to see a vegan cheese crispbake available in the Free From frozen section of the store.
Using their own dairy free cheese, which is manufactured by Bute Island, this makes a great midweek supper with a salad or veggies on the side.
There are more products in the Sainsbury’s range but many- like the Cauliflower Steaks- contain dairy products. It’s a shame they haven’t launched vegan-friendly burgers as part of this move, but if they prove successful hopefully the supermarket chain will adapt recipes to remove egg, dairy, etc. Keep an eye out for more product reviews over the upcoming months on Canny Food.
Thanks for reading,