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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Trader Joe's Protein Patties

Disclaimer: Self-proclaimed meatatarian here. I used to feel shy and squeamish about wanting to eat something called, say, a Meat Lover's Pizza. Just sounds odd, doesn't it? Whatever, though, it's tasty and, even better, is piled with multiple kinds of meat, so I'm just gonna get over it. Mmmmmmmmmmeeeeaaaaaatttttt. Yum.

Not to say that I can't enjoy a good meat substitute. Don't believe me, newbie? It was Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo that helped inspire my love for TJ's and helped inspire me to get on board with this blog way back in its fledgling stages. The world had to know.

So now it's 2020 and there's the Beyond Burgers and Impossible Whoppers and everything everywhere. How is this happening? I don't know...I didn't know there was such a demand that different places had to be tripping over themselves to bring their interpretation of veggie burgers to the masses. I mean, there were plenty of adequate if not downright good veggie burgers out it a conspiracy for world domination? I don't know about that, but there are some interesting tin foil hat conspiracies out there that make for fun reading at the very least. It does seem to me that all these bogus beefless burgers rushing to the market are a supply trying to create a demand, and not a demand building it's own supply and market. I'm not sure if down the road the outcome will be so rosy or not for them.

Anyways, enough banter. Trader Joe's Protein Patties. Motto: "All the other good names were taken and we were stuck with this." Another plant based burger. No s and p, flip twice, down the hatch...any good?

Nope. Not gonna lie - both my lovely bride, who is usually even more open than I to these kinda things, and I did not enjoy this pea protein patty puck at all. First of all...look at it in cooked form. The whole thing doesn't brown at all, it just turns a little less pink and gets burned and dry outside. It doesn't look appetizing. The whole shebang looks more like, well, scrapple, which is actually delicious by the way. And like a good ol' slab of East Coast haggis, it got all crispy on the outside while still mushy in the middle. Acceptable, even preferable, for scrapple. Not so much for something purporting to be a burger.

I will admit there is almost a beef like taste to it. I mean, no amount of veggie voodoo and laboratory testing can fully replicate the gristle and sizzle of real actual red meat. Honorable try here. But this TJ's take just has nothing really truly screaming "burger" about it. It's more a toasted pea protein patty plop, and between stating which one out loud I'd like to eat, get me that Meat Lovers!

Quick aside: If one of the goals of products like these is methane reduction, let's just say it wasn't successful on this particular end product user's side of the equation.

If we had to give up meat, there's a chance that Sandy and I would react more favorably to these guys. And you know what? If you like them, don't let us poo-poo your pea protein patty puck plop parade. All that being said, and definitely at the price point of $4.49 for two quarter pound sized chunks, these will not be a repeat buy. That's the meat of the matter right there.

Bottom line: Trader Joe's Protein Patties: 3 out of 10 Golden Spoons


  1. Yuck. I want my meat to be made of meat!

  2. Perhaps these companies are appealing to environmentalists as well as vegetarians. Meat production is so bad for the environment and that's a hot topic right now. Speaking of which, it's February and I was sweating yesterday and people were out in shorts and t-shirts. I've always hated Winter, but this is not how it's supposed to be! So who knows maybe the demand will catch up to the supply. I've been wanting to try the Beyond / Impossible burgers just because I enjoy trying new products. But when I look at the ingredients, I get turned off. Meat still seems like the preferable option.

    1. The Beyond Burgers/Impossible Burgers are really good. Not a health food, but then again, neither are regular burgers.

      Additionally, I also just tried the Beyond Burger "ground beef." I made stuffed peppers with it. Honestly, it would be hard to tell the difference between that and regular ground beef. It was almost spooky.
      I am a vegetarian, and appreciate being able to satisfy my occasional meaty cravings, but I don't fool myself into believing that it's a healthier option.

  3. They're good. Just a notch below beyond burgers. 7/10

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  5. I ate meat growing up but I've been vegetarian for while, so perhaps my taste buds are off but I like beyond burgers. I think they make reasonably good burgers - not great but certainly as good as a fast food burger and maybe better. These TJs knockoffs were revolting however. I tried cooking it for 5-6 minutes and 7-8 minutes - but it still had a strange taste and bad texture both times. I'm weighing the costs of trying to stomach them vs. effort in return vs. just throwing them away. My worst TJs purchase in years...


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