Jim and I did a blind taste test between Bocca Ground Crumbles vs Morningstar Farms Griller Crumbles. Both have the requirement that they be heated to at least 160° and Bocca requires not in the microwave.
We rated each for their flavors by themselves, as a topping on the Hishy Hash and a Helluva Stew and in a traditional red sauce over pasta.
We felt the Bocca ground meatless, on its own, was more like TVP and although had a bit of peculiar mushroom kind of flavor was more bland in comparison. Jim likened it to be more like “chopped steak” than “ground beef” and since he ate meat 10 years longer than I did I will take his word for it. It was also firmer, more peppery and a bit dry. Content wise it is vegan and contains a 1/5 the fat than Morningstar and a bit more protein.
Morningstar ground meatless was much tastier on its own. It seemed to have more water content and we doubted it would stand up as well against Bocca in a sauce because, after we soaked a piece of each in a cup of water, Bocca retained shape, flavor and texture. Although Morninstar tasted saltier it actually had a bit less sodium so we attributed the better flavor to the fat content and the fact it contained eggs and skim milk. It’s flavor was more of a soy sauce than anything but it lost that in the water test.
As a topping for Hishy Hash and a Helluva Stew both products looked almost identical before and after baking @ 350° for 30 minutes. The taste test in this recipe was the same as the tasting the products on their own; Morningstar tasted better, Bocca had an odd fake taste and was terribly dry even with the recipe’s additional butter before baking.
The final test included soaking each product in a store brand pasta sauce (about 4 hours) before re-heating and serving over cooked fettucine. This one surprised us both. Jim actually got the 2 mixed up and thought it was the Morningstar that tasted burnt. I had been consistent and kept the Bocca on the right and Morningstar to the left in every test. Morninstar not only tasted better than Bocca it interacted with the pasta by clinging to it along with the sauce. The Bocca’s flavor was worse than ever and although it kept it’s firm texture in the soaking of sauce, it never became an integral part of it nor carried well on the fettucine. I couldn’t finish mine and pushed the pasta over the my Morningstar side of the plate to get ever bit of my favored sauce. The gristly Bocca bits went into the compost.
Both products came in 12oz bags, Bocca’s had a resealable crease and was $1.00 less expensive. That isn’t enough to make me choose it again for any reason, I’ll wait for the cents off Morningstar coupon, thanks.Like vegetarian food reviews and taste tests!? Check out my detailed review of Soy Bacon Products: (NOT) Bacon Rating! Three vegetarian bacon products, seven taste testers and One WINNER! The follow up taste test pits bacon tempeh to tempeh in the Tempeh Bacon Taste Taste. Will the Maple Kind prevail!?