Product Review: No Evil Foods–El Zapatista “Chorizo”

This is yet another one of those products that I have been waiting to arrive in Casper for a while now. I found the No Evil Foods products at Natural Grocers. There were a few varieties, and I got one of each, but I figured since there isn’t much in the way of vegan chorizo alternatives, I would review this one!

I have been seeing No Evil Foods on social media a lot in the last year and for some reason, I felt compelled to try it. I only get excited about different and unique things when it comes to vegan meat alternatives, and I knew there was something different about this product. There are so many out there that are big corporations making vegan substitutes, or a slightly different variation of the same “chick’n” that I have lost interest in most meat alternatives. No Evil is different. They are a smaller company, and instead of jumping on the soy and pea protein band wagon, their products are vital wheat gluten based. I first tried a small sample of their products at VegFest Colorado, but I really wanted to try some of their other options.

To begin, I love their packaging. I really like that it comes in a cardboard box instead of the typical plastic casing and cardboard sleeve that most vegan “chorizo” or sausage comes in. I think it looks a lot nicer. I like their look too. Everything looks hand drawn, yet very realistic. There are so many times when there is a picture of a product on the front, and then opening the package is a disappointment because it doesn’t look like the picture. With this, I have a vague idea of what to expect, and opening the box is a surprise, which I like. Looking at the ingredients on the back side of the package, I was actually incredibly pleased. The ingredients looked almost identical to my seitan recipe, so I definitely had nothing to complain about. It was just the vital wheat gluten, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, and spices. It really doesn’t get much simpler than that!

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For the taste test, I cooked it up with some veggies for tacos. When I opened the plastic casing in came it, it was pretty easy to squeeze out. I tried to crumble it into the pan and it ended up in fairly large pieces. While sautéing, I was able to break it up some more with a wooden spoon. It browned really nicely and some of the spices released into the oil, which is exactly what I was hoping would happen! I decided to try a bit right out of the pan, and it was good. It was really good! I was happy with the texture. It wasn’t  gummy or rubbery like a lot of other packaged seitan I have had. There was a nice spice. It wasn’t too much, but just enough to bring some heat to the dish. The spices were well rounded and there wasn’t one flavor that was too overpowering. I really didn’t have any complaints when it came to the taste test!

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Overall, I really enjoyed this product. I don’t buy stuff like this very often, but next time I want some vegan chorizo, I will definitely pick this up. I liked the ingredients and it had a great flavor/texture, so it is a winner in my book. I don’t say that too often, so trying something that I am very pleased with is exciting!

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