Saturday, January 9, 2016

Season's Choice Chipotle Black Bean Burgers (Aldi)

Ignore my thumb in the bottom part of the picture.
I won’t re-bore faithful readers of this blog with the backstory on why an avid meat-eater sometimes resorts to eating veggie burgers (to summarize: my wife is a vegetarian), so we’ll just jump right into the “meat” (or “veggie”) of the matter, shall we?

Just in time for my wife’s jump into vegetarianism, we just discovered that Aldi now sells veggie burgers, under the Season’s Choice moniker!  They have two kinds, and we’ll be taking a look at both.  I’m not sure if this will be available all year ‘round, or if it’s just a seasonal thing, but there was no signage indicating to to be of limited availability, so we are certainly hoping these will be constantly available.  First up on the docket: Chipotle Black Bean.

We utilized the microwave method, which suggests cooking it for one minute and forty-five seconds.  I cooked it for one minute and thirty on an old microwave, and it came out perfect.  Even before I opened the door to retrieve my vegetable patty, I was enveloped by its delicious, inviting smell--it smells like it’s going to be hot, but it wasn’t just a bland heat; several spices could also be detected, which made me even hungrier.

The patty itself looks kind of unappetizing--it’s pink and rather gross-looking, though you can see corn, beans, and other assorted vegetables poking throughout.  A few of the veggie burgers I’ve had come out of the microwave kind of slimy, but this one, to its credit, was firm and held together very well.

I opted to eat this patty right out of the microwave (well, I plated it first), without any condiments or buns; I really just wanted to absorb as much of the flavor as I could.  That was a wise move, because this packs a punch.  The texture is perfect--I don’t like how some veggie burgers threaten to fall apart if you even look at it funny--these patties easily withstood the force of me cutting them into pieces with a fork.  It’s a little flaky as you cut it, strongly reminiscent of salmon, but the exterior is much stronger.

Flavorwise, it’s very good.  The biggest turn-off for me is when you can clearly taste the bean in a vegetable patty…I like beans, but they tend to make everything dry, and unless you overcook your meat, that’s one thing your meat should never be.  While I wouldn’t say this was really “moist”, the bean flavor wasn’t at all overwhelming, instead giving way to an almost pleasant blast of heat that disappears just a few short moments after it arrives.  I have trouble taking really hot stuff, and I had no problems shoveling this into my face.  The taste is also balanced with some noticeable spices, such as onion and garlic; supposedly, there’s also brown sugar in them, but I didn’t really detect any sweetness.  The end result is a surprisingly complex flavor--or at least, more complex than many of the vegetable burgers I’ve tried up to this point.

I still won’t give up my occasional meat dish, but I would not hesitate to pick these up again.  While they taste nothing like meat, they’re still a very delicious, alternate option to the real thing.  Some people are all-or-nothing (all meat or all vegetarian, with no leeway in the middle), but with products like this getting released, I feel those people are missing out on the best of both worlds.  Great stuff.

Overall: 9/10.  As a meat-eater, I would wholeheartedly recommend these.  While it won’t replace the occasional meat dish in my diet, the texture is pretty solid, even after being microwaved, and the flavor is surprisingly complex--I’ve had some veggie burgers where the beans are the overwhelming taste, and it comes off as being rather bland.  The bean flavor here hides in the background, with some spices and heat coming to the forefront.  Almost a required purchase if you are a vegetarian; honestly, they're better than a lot of meat patties that I've had, and I've found that I keep purchasing boxes of these just to have on hand for a quick dinner.  Insanely good price, too, at $2.49 for four decent-sized patties.

8 comments:

  1. Thank you. I just discovered the veggie burger and thought they were fabulous in my George Foreman grill... your explanation of the black bean burgers makes me think they are going to be my newest go-to meal!!!! I'm new to the whole veggie/bean burger thing so your review helped!!

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    1. No, thank YOU! I'm really glad to hear that! You should definitely scoop up the black bean burgers. If you do, I want to hear what you think of them!

      I don't know if you have any Dollar Tree's by you, but their veggie burgers are actually pretty good, too. They're potato-based, as opposed to bean, so they're more similar to potato pancakes than regular veggie burgers, but you get 2/$1 which is really cheap.

      Thanks again for the kind words!

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  2. These veggie burgers are great as breakfast sausage replacement. I eat them with grits! Problem is I can not buy them any more! Seems they were seasonal. ;-(

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    1. Whaaaaat?! I was just there about a week ago and could swear I saw them there still, but can't say for sure because I wasn't specifically looking for them. That, and our store seems to be one of the lower traffic ones, so stuff tends to sell out very slowly.

      And even if they were seasonal, that seems weird that the season they'd be sold is fall/winter...you would think it would be the summer which is peak burger season! Hmmm, I'll have to keep an eye out and see if they remove them from my store.

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  3. I was just at Aldi today and they had both of these (beginning of June!)
    So I feel like they are not seasonal, but might have just not been available at the time for the commenter above me.

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    1. I also went the other day, and saw the Veggie Burgers...I didn't dig any deeper, because I didn't buy them, but I'm fairly certain they also had the Black Bean ones. Good to know! Thanks!

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  4. Did you know they have natural beef flavoring in them?

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    1. Hmm...no I did not. That's kind of weird, because I don't think they really taste like meat at all, and that's actually why I like them. They're like a flavorful alternative.

      Since I'm not a vegetarian, this doesn't really bother me, but I suppose that people like me probably make up a small percentage of the people buying this product, so it's good to know.

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