Friday, April 17, 2015

Trader Joe's Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burgers With Black Beans & Roasted Corn

This is yet another in the seemingly endless series of attempts to make burgers out of something other than cows. I think that category can broadly be divided into the products that are trying to simulate ground beef, and those that are not. Trader Joe's has nothing that competes with MorningStar and Boca in the former group. I would call it their second-best entry in the latter group, after the excellent Pizza Veggie Burgers. These are much better, in my opinion, than the Vegetable Masala Burgers.

The flavor is, predictably, kind of a bland mashup of grain, beans, and corn, since those are the major constituents. It won't fool you into thinking it once mooed, but it's mild and inoffensive. It's so mild, in fact, that when it's topped with some cheese, pickles, and ketchup, I had a hard time telling what was underneath them. Put another way, these have much less of a distinctive flavor identity than either the pizza veggie burgers or the vegetable masala burgers. You may choose whether to think of that as an advantage or a disadvantage.

They hold together reasonably well. Of the four in the package, one broke apart as I was trying to flip it halfway through cooking, but the other three maintained their integrity during both cooking and consumption. I hate patties that disintegrate.

Will I buy it again? 

Probably once in a while, because I didn't mind them, and Nina seemed to like them better than I did--and better than the Pizza Veggie Burgers.

Nina's View

I like these. I think our reflexive habit of piling every known LOUD hamburger condiment onto these various veggie patties basically keeps them from revealing their essential nature and/or goodness.

Another time I think I'd have mine with some melted cheese/dairy-substitute-product and some lettuce and nothing much else. And I think I'd continue to like 'em just fine.

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