Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sophie's Kitchen Breaded Vegan Shrimp

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Believe it or not, Sophie's Kitchen Breaded Vegan Shrimp is not the first vegetarian shrimp product that I've had. I think the tricky thing with fake shrimp products is the texture. Shrimp has that weird texture naturally that is difficult to imitate. I'm not sure that any fake shrimp product can ever come close to the real thing. But Sophie's Kitchen Breaded Vegan Shrimp is an interesting attempt at an dairy-free and soy-free imitation shrimp. This is made in Taiwan (yay!) with konjac. For those who are not familiar with konjac, it is a starchy root that solidifies into choking hazard jelly that ends up in various sweet tea and fruit drinks. It has a slightly crunchy texture that is just a bit firmer than jello. In Taiwan, konjac gets turned into various different kinds of fake seafood, including fake sashimi (of all the things that you think would be impossible to imitate...).

The jelly texture is really not similar to shrimp at all, but once the clever folks at Sophie's Kitchen breaded these crescent shaped konjac jelly, you don't notice the difference in texture as much. That said, no one can really confuse this with the real deal. But in the end, I didn't really mind them, especially after dipping them into cocktail sauce. As for the taste, you guessed it, it didn't taste like shrimp... or much of anything else for that matter.

Taste: 1 out of 5 stars
Texture: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Overall: 2 out of 5 stars

In A Nut Shell: It doesn't get high marks for similarity to real shrimp, but it didn't taste bad. I rather enjoyed it, actually. But I definitely wouldn't mistake it for real shrimp, which I'm sure is a good thing to some vegetarians out there.

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