Grill on the barbeque, sauté in the pan, steam in the oven or microwave to perfection, our versatile Frankfurters are an easy going partner in the kitchen or out on the field. We say “Frankfurters” because we believe it’s time for the veggie dog to come back to its roots.
I’ll be honest, when I picked these frankfurters up off of the shelf, I had no idea what frankfurters actually were. Slap the word “vegetarian” on there though, and I’m sold. Are they hot dogs? Are they sausages? At first glance, these Field Roast Vegetarian Frankfurters seem like they’re having an identity crisis. From the taste and texture, to the presentation, these little sausages are better than hotdogs, and they know it.
What is It?
I googled “frankenfurter” trying to glean some information about these baby mystery sausages. All google gave me was a bunch of results about a beloved character from Rocky Horror Picture Show. For those of you who may be as clueless as I am, here is the actual definition of FRANKFURTER (not frankENfurter):
Frankfurter, also called wiener, or (in the United States) hot dog, highly seasoned sausage, traditionally of mixed pork and beef. Frankfurters are named for Frankfurt am Main, Germany, the city of their origin, where they were sold and eaten at beer gardens.https://www.britannica.com/topic/frankfurter
Field Roast is a Seattle based company that specializes in “grain based meats” as they call them. Their meats are made from whole food ingredients; grains, vegetables, legumes, and spices. The company has been making their vegan meat alternatives and cheeses since 1997. Field Roast’s focus on traditional-style sausage and cheese is quite refreshing. Now that we have a bit of background about Field Roast, it’s time to talk about their vegan frankfurters.
Field Roast’s Frankfurters packaging is very much like traditional sausage links. They come in a link of six sausages, wrapped in plastic. We purchased these frankfurters at our local Whole Foods for $6.39. While the packaging is charming as hell, we found the link format to be somewhat problematic. The links are not quite as self-sealing as they seem. We ended up with a small puddle of hot dog juices sitting in our fridge. Pro tip: store them in your own container after opening.
So, the question is, are these hot dogs? I would say, not really. At least, not the congealed meat pulp kind of monstrosities that I grew up with.
How Does It Taste?
You can tell off the bat, that they’re seasoned significantly more than your typical hot dog (or veggie dog). They look smoky and tough in texture. Picking them up, they feel firmer and denser than a normal hot dog would. They run about 7 inches long, so longer than your average hot dog as well. They stuck out of our standard hot dog buns a bit, but it wasn’t much of a problem at all.
Per the instructions on the package, we boiled the frankfurters in a small pot of water for about five minutes. Field Roast provides grilling, microwave, and saute instructions as well. instructions as well. We wanted to go for the classic hot dog cooking method that we used as meat eaters. After cooking them, the appearance and texture of the frankfurters did not change much at all. They plumped up a teeny tiny bit, but otherwise remained the same.
From their appearance, I thought these vegan frankfurters would be tough and gristly. Both in taste and texture, they are actually more similar to your average hot dog. The texture is delightfully homogeneous and meaty. They’re not too firm or dense, like seitan based meats can sometimes be. We actually accidentally broke one in half taking them out of the pot of water. The texture gets a little grainy if you chew too long, which almost reminds me of polish sausage (kielbasa).
I’ve tried a few other brands of vegetarian hot dogs, and I’ve found most of them to be inedible (for one reason or another). Field Roast Vegan Frankfurters have NO aftertaste. None. They are also tasty enough on their own right that Field Roast didn’t need to drown them in liquid smoke. The taste is pretty non-descript (in a good way). You don’t get random hits of spice like some vegetarian deli meats or sausages can have. Do they taste exactly like hot dogs? No. And I don’t think that’s what Field Roast was going for, hence the “frankfurter” branding. They’re close enough (and delicious enough), that I would consider them a very viable hot dog alternative.
While I was pleasantly surprised by these Vegan Frankfurters, I do wish they were a little bit juicier. Considering how quickly I scarfed them down, asking for a juicier dog is really just me nitpicking.
My favorite part about these frankfurters is the versatility. After eating them, my head immediately started spinning with potential recipe ideas. I could see them going very well in pasta dishes, soups, or grilled up on some kebabs. The possibilities are endless…
Jon and I demolished all six Field Roast Vegan Frankfurters in a day and a half, so I definitely see us purchasing these again. They’re not quite the hot dogs I grew up eating, but they’re like a better, more refined, adult hot dog. You can tell that Field Roast put a lot of care into developing this product, and I am downright excited to try out some of their other offerings. These vegan frankfurters are a great example of how we really don’t have to settle for less on a meatless diet.
My friends, I think we found our new favorite hot dog substitute.
Overall Rating: 8/10 – Pretty Tasty
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Serving Size 1 link
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 200Calories from Fat 90
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 10g16%
- Saturated Fat 2.5g13%
- Trans Fat 0g
- Cholesterol 0mg
- Sodium 710mg30%
- Total Carbohydrate 5g2%
- Dietary Fiber 2g8%
- Sugars 2g
- Protein 20g40%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Filtered water, vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed safflower oil, organic expeller pressed palm fruit oil, barley malt, naturally flavored yeast extract, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, paprika, sea salt, onions, spices, whole wheat flour, garlic, natural liquid smoke, caraway, celery seed, ground yellow mustard, paprika oleoresin.