Whenever I visit other cities, I usually end up checking out at least one natural grocery store. Whether I’m getting snacks, provisions for the road, a bottle of wine, or even an inexpensive lunch, I can often be found roaming their aisles. While I’m there, I can’t help myself from cruising around and seeing what specialty products they have that I can’t find locally. It seems there’s always a new product on the scene that is impossible to find in my town.
One such product that I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for is the new bacon seitan from Upton’s Naturals. I tried the other flavors of seitan from Upton’s Naturals for the first time last year at the Mad City Vegan Fest. At that time, they had several different flavors of seitan including traditional, Italian, and chorizo. Then several months ago their bacon seitan was introduced. Made with vital wheat gluten, soy sauce, whole wheat flour, natural hickory smoke concentrate, paprika, sea salt, and onion, I was intrigued to try it for myself.
So when I was in the Minneapolis area this past weekend for a friend’s wedding, I hit up the Whole Foods in St. Paul. When I walked past their refrigerated section, I was delighted to see the bacon seitan for sale. I scooped it up on the spot, threw it into my cart, and prepared to babysit it with ice packs the next day in the cooler before I headed back on the long car ride home.
You know what they say… When life gives you bacon seitan, make a BLTA. For breakfast yesterday, I toasted bread, added thick slices of avocado, slices of tomato, and a slathering of mustard. Then I lightly fried the thin slices of bacon seitan and added them to sandwiches for my husband and myself.
Let’s just say, this product was worth the search! With a great smoky flavor and a wonderful chewy texture, this is my favorite veggie bacon yet. I think many packaged veggie bacons can be disappointing, but this one really measures up. There are so many possibilities here in terms of making seitan bacon-wrapped dates, because the bacon has a great pliability that bends without breaking. (Curious why vegans would want to eat something that tastes like bacon? Check out this post. It explains everything.) As a really cool plus, 5% of the proceeds from their bacon seitan goes to keeping pigs happy at Farm Sanctuary, one of my favorite places in the world.
Upton’s Naturals is a Chicago-based company, and they’re opening a brick and mortar location this summer attached to their factory, where they’ll serve sandwiches and customers can buy their products directly. I look forward to checking it out on a future visit to Chicago! (Update: I visited Upton’s Breakroom, and you can check out the review here!)