When I was at VDelicious and The Allergy and Free From show a couple of weekends ago I was lucky enough to be given some products for free for review purposes. Exciting! I often say no to free promotional goodies but both Dee's and Ten Acre are brands that I'd not only heard of but was genuinely excited about trying.
Dee's Wholefoods gave me packs of their Omega Burgers, Roast Garlic and Mushroom Sausages and Traditional Sausages to try.
Unfortunately when I went to try the Garlic and Mushroom Sausages the package had gotten all puffed like a little balloon meaning that they were no longer safe to eat. This was a full week before the eat by date and the company generously offered to refund my money if I bought another product from Waitrose. As Waitrose don't stock this product I turned down the offer but it was much appreciated.
Anyway, onto the reviews. The traditional sausages were the first thing Nick and I tried. We were super impressed at how meaty they looked, the casing was even similar to the kind found on a meaty sausage.
We fried ours in a non-stick pan in just one tsp of oil as directed on the package. You have to let these sit and get properly browned before turning them over otherwise they'll stick. Patience prevailed and these came out wonderfully. We couldn't think of a better way to eat a traditional sausage than as part of a full English breakfast, served at dinner time because that's how we roll.
The sausages were incredibly flavourful, you can tell that they're packed with spices and we enjoyed the texture too. We served them alongside our favourite seeded loaf from the Infinity Foods bakery, fried mushrooms (not for Nick!) and a new brand of baked beans called Hodmedod's. We were a little unsure about the new beans upon opening the can due to the watery sauce but they were fantastic. I'm trying to break my Heinz addiction and I think it's working.
Next we tried the Omega Burgers which we grilled and served alongside a couple of salads from Terry's latest cookbook, Salad Samurai.
Unfortunately whilst we enjoyed the burgers texturally the flavours just didn't stand up next to the bold flavours of the salads. We were surprised by their blandness especially given how flavourful the sausages were. Maybe they'd have been better stuffed into a pitta full of hummus and salad leaves or something but I have to be honest and say that I wouldn't buy these. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the Organic Mega Burgers and I'll buy the Traditional Sausages again for sure, both are sold in the Brighton branch of Waitrose. Salad wise I made the Sea Chickpea Salad and the Basil "egg" Avocado from the Niçoise Bento Box and they were both total winners, the basil egg was so wonderful that I ate both portions immediately and I've already made the sea chickpeas again after scoffing the first lot in a day and a half.
I was very excited when I stumbled across this next stall, I'd heard so much about Ten Acre and their innovative vegan Cheese and Onion crisps. They handed over a whole grab bag full of goodies and it didn't take me tong to polish off the lot. Of course I started with the famous The Story of When the Cheese Met the Onion.
Unsurprisingly they were fantastic, the buzz about these is for good reason! They're just like the cheese and onion we all knew and loved back in our cheese eating days but minus the cruelty. It's so nice to have this flavour back in my life again.
The next pack I dived into was When Hickory Got BBQ'd, these were delicious but due to the cayenne my mouth was a little on the hot side by the end of the packet. Anyone with a regular tolerance for spice will adore these though, such a fun flavour!
How Chicken Soup Saved the Day was next up to bat and yet again Ten Acre knocked it outa the park serving up another delicious animal friendly twist on a classic flavour. They're also ridiculously good dipped in hummus, just sayin'! These are up there in my top three for sure.
Ten Acre also make the classics. The Secret of Mr Salt, pictured above, and The Amazing Adventures of Salt and Vinegar..
Ready Salted has always been a firm favourite of mine when it comes to potato chips and not just because a vegan version is almost always easy to find. Ten Acre's are neither greasy nor overly salty and it's safe to say I loved them. Salt and Vinegar is a flavour I either love or hate, I think this depends very much on the balance of salt to vinegar and Ten Acre have got it spot on in my opinion.
This next pack deserves a second pic, The Day Sweet and Sour Became Friends could be accurately renamed The Day Jojo Fell in Love With a Crisp, Ran Away Together and Lived Happily Ever After In A Van By the River.
These crisps mimic one of my favourite Chinese dishes and just in case you haven't got the picture already, I love them.
Ten Acre also make When the Chilli Got Sweet and When Bombay Got Spicy but I try to be a little sensible about risking a chilli allergy flare up and didn't take samples of these flavours.
Brightonians will be pleased to hear that these are on the shelves in Infinity Foods right now. It's pretty great to be able to by crisps from one of my new favourite small independent companies from my favourite local co-op.