Textured Vegetable Protein (or TVP) is 53 percent Protein. Use it to add to your hamburgers or for making vegetarian chili. This is a full 2 pounds of Textured Vegetable Protein with Class III Low 4-MEI caramel color added so it looks like Hamburger! Made from reduced-fat soybeans and is used to replace or extend ground meats in any recipe.
I’ll be honest – I feel torn about writing this review. Full disclosure, I purchased this product about a year ago. I don’t have original photos of the packaging, but I do still have plenty of Hoosier Hill Farm’s TVP sitting unused in my pantry (and for good reason). There’s a lot to love about TVP in general. It’s cheap, versatile, cruelty free, and packed full of protein. The thing is, TVP seems like one of those thing you shouldn’t really be able to screw up. It should be like buying different brands of sugar or salt- it’s all basically the same stuff. That’s not the case here – Hoosier Hill Farm’s TVP is a little different from the rest. Honestly, it is a little worse than the rest.
What Is It?
For those of you who may not know exactly what I’m talking about – this is textured vegetable protein, also known as TVP. Its kind of an odd product in both production and preparation, but to vegetarians it is the perfect ground beef or pork substitute.
Hoosier Hill Farm is located in America’s heartland of northeast Indiana. Our products and ingredients are guaranteed fresh and we are proud of our heritage and good, old-fashioned values!
This TVP can be purchased directly from Hoosier Hill Farm’s website, or Amazon. I went ahead and purchased this product on Amazon, just for convenience’s sake. The price for the amount product you get is not too bad. I paid roughly $22 for a 5lb bag, purchased a year ago, and we still have probably a third of the bag left. Shelf life is listed as 22-24 months, since it is stored dehydrated.
The biggest problem with Hoosier Hill Farm’s Textured Vegetable Protein is quality control. Before I purchased it, I read a few reviews on Amazon mentioning torn bags, but I figured they’re idiots. They probably accidentally cut the package themselves when they cut open the box. Lo and behold, I too received a cut open bag. The 5lb thick plastic bag had two or three gashes in the side that looked they they were from a box cutter. Being that I paid $22 for the stuff, I decided I’m going to eat the shit whether it kills me or not. Unsanitary? Yes. Absolutely. Unfortunately, I personally am stingy enough to put those thoughts aside and chow down.
How Does It Taste?
Fine? Just fine, I guess. While TVP is usually ridiculously easy to cook, this TVP in particular doesn’t reconstitute like any other TVP. I’ve never sat down and timed a comparison, but I’m estimating that this TVP takes about 3 to 4 times longer to rehydrate than your average TVP.
Despite its lengthy cooking time, it can be used for all of the things you would usually use TVP for. Tacos, sloppy joes, burgers, meatballs, chili, etc. This TVP does taste a little… different. Considering there are only two ingredients in the product, I have to assume it’s the taste of the food coloring they added. While I admit that it tastes a little odd, it’s so slight that I couldn’t possibly count the “off” taste against it. TVP in general looks like cat vomit and taste like soggy Cheerios if you don’t add seasoning to it. This is rare for any food review, but with TVP I really don’t expect or care if it tastes good, as long as it is capable of absorbing the flavorings I’m adding to it. In this case, Hoosier Hill Farm TVP absorbs flavor beautifully (it just takes a while).
The level of imitation is a big bonus with this TVP in particular. They add brown food coloring so it always looks like ground beef. The chunks of TVP rehydrate a little larger than I expected, which also adds to the realism. While I hate that is takes so long to prepare compared to most TVP products, the end result is pretty decent. As long as you’re patient and let it reconstitute fully, this TVP will make you forget that you’re not eating meat.
The problem with Hoosier Hill Farm’s Textured Vegetable Protein is the lack of quality control and just overall mystery of the split open packaging. It’s hard to write a review because my biggest knock against the product (the overly stale crunchy texture) may or may not be due to the fact that there was a huge gash in the bag to begin with. I guess I don’t hate it, but I don’t see myself purchasing this product again when there are so many other safer better TVP choices out there.
Overall Rating: 6.5/10 – Meh.
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Serving Size 1 Tablespoon (6g)
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 15
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 0g
- Saturated Fat 0g
- Trans Fat 0g
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 0mg
- Total Carbohydrate 2g1%
- Dietary Fiber 1g4%
- Sugars 1g
- Protein 3g6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Defatted soy flour, caramel color