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The Search for the Perfect Veggie Burger

Posted by at 7:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (10)


vegburgerSvadilfari / CC

I have been a vegetarian for 30 years and vegan for the last 12 (I’m now 82). Being a vegetarian was almost unheard of 30 years ago, and those early years were not easy. We didn’t have all the fabulous vegan products at the grocery store that we do now, including soy and rice milks, soy butter, vegan cheeses, veggie burgers, and even ice cream. However, for many of those years, our family enjoyed a delicious vegan meat substitute, Midland Harvest’s dry Original Burger Mix. This mix came in 6-ounce foil packages, and we usually ordered 100 packages at a time from a supplier in Ohio. Recent exhaustive searching revealed that this product was no longer available anywhere.

My daughters’ families and I tried to find it or a satisfactory replacement locally or by mail to fill the void. We tried dry, frozen, refrigerated, and specific-purpose mixes of all kinds. None came even close to the taste, consistency, and price of the Original Burger Mix.

After many calls to Archer Daniels Midlan (ADM), they finally gave me the number of a person who “might” know something about this Original Burger Mix that I had been seeking. It was a vegetarian supplier in a suburb of Toronto, Canada, which ADM claimed to be the only source of the product. Despite the fact that it only comes in a huge 10-kilogram (22-pound) bag, I ordered a bag anyway!

It is the Original Burger Mix minus some saturated fat that was in the original product. This new dry mix lets you add your own healthy kinds of oil. After mixing in the oil, adding water, and waiting 30 minutes, it can be formed into a burger and microwaved, fried, or grilled without crumbling. You can add the mixed burger, even without cooking, to spaghetti, chili sauces, etc., and it holds its chunky consistency.

In spite of a $40 shipping fee to send the 22 lb package all the way to Washington state, we make four good-size burgers from 1 cup of mix for about $1.30.

The Web site is http://www.solcuisine.com/services2.html.

I talked to a representative there who says that they plan to develop small individual packages but that it likely won’t happen soon. While I am thankful for and enjoy many of the other veggie burgers out there, I will always be a loyal fan of the “Original.” Having many options for great, cheap, unmeat burgers makes it much easier to convert human carnivores, so it would be great if Sol Cuisine sold its veggie burger mix in smaller packages so that others could enjoy them too.

I have absolutely nothing to gain financially from this blog posting except happy, safe cows and good eats! You can help by calling 905-502-8500 or by e-mailing sales@solcuisine.com and encouraging Sol Cuisine to sell smaller packages of its Veggie Burger Mix.

What’s your favorite veggie burger?

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10 Comments

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    Jen-X says...

    January 23rd, 2009, 8:01 pm

    These sound pretty good. My favorite veggie burger is the Boca Vegan Original. It’s so tasty and “meaty.” But I would like to find a grain-based burger that doesn’t contain isolated soy protein. I find that lately I’ve been eating a lot of products with soy and it might be good to cut back. Any suggestions anyone?

    sandra m says...

    January 23rd, 2009, 11:16 pm

    I think this blog speaks to the problem of finding veggie burgers that “hit the spot”. For more than 25 years, my favorite veggie burger has been Morningstar Farms’ grillers. They have such an authentic taste, I can use them in any recipe that calls for ground beef and fool my guests every time. Like Svadilfar, I worry that one day grillers won’t be available. So, I’d like to give ‘Original Burger’ mix a try. A small package to start makes sense. But, if you’re a fan, why not a 22-pound bag to save money and trips to the market? In Los Angeles, where I live, a package of four grillers costs almost five dollars.

    Tina Max says...

    January 24th, 2009, 12:51 pm

    HOW WONDERFUL TO HAVE BEEN A VEGETARIAN FOR ALL THOSE YEARS, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE WERE NO READY-MADE VEGETARIAN DISHES.

    TINA

    Fred W says...

    January 27th, 2009, 12:00 pm

    I too miss ADM’s Original burger mix. One of the best parts was that it is non-perishable. That is an amazing term. It stores so well it becomes a gourmet emergency ration. I am thrilled to hear someone was dedicated enough to track down a source for the mix. Twenty-two pounds is a huge quantity to receive unless you have a large family or group to share with. I look forward to a time when it is available in smaller sizes. Hopefully Sol Cuisine will make their mix available in smaller sizes soon.

    Phyllis says...

    February 9th, 2009, 3:30 pm

    This mix must be good but I love the original vegan Boca burgers. I buy them at a food club – a box of 16 big patties for $9. When I’m running late or am just starving – I’ve got a favorite vegan sandwich just 2 minutes and 15 seconds away, with no dirty dishes save the knife I use to spread the Veganaise. (And they are only 100 calories!)

    Renee says...

    April 17th, 2009, 1:44 pm

    My favorite is SoyBoy Okara Courage Burger. I love them with alfalfa sprouts and Vegenaise.

    Carla M says...

    May 12th, 2009, 4:10 pm

    I bought this product on Chris’ recommendation but I need help on converting the recipe for 28 burgers to 2. Any help? Thanks.

    kerry says...

    June 12th, 2009, 12:11 pm

    We have found that equal parts water and burger mix works the best. so, if you use one cup of mix, add one cup of water. stir and then let it sit for a half hour, or even overnight or several days in the refrigerator. before you form a patty, mix in a little oil and then fry or cook in the microwave.

    mare says...

    November 6th, 2010, 6:08 pm

    How interesting…I’ve been buying the Sol mix for years (and years) and only in the small packages. I buy 20 at a time and open them into large glass cannisters for use a mix. Never knew I could buy bulk!

    Vivia boe says...

    November 25th, 2012, 6:50 pm

    I’ve also been veg for,hmmm, 35 years. I’ve ben trying to remember the name if a mix that had’ burger’ in the name, but came out kind of yellow…you just added water and fried it up. I found it delicious sans bread: just plunked it in the plate with applesauce and voilà! “pork chop” even Babe would love. The sol mix doesn’t sound right, does it… Nature burger maybe? That name just popped in my mind. Any help appreciated. I need to gain a lot of weight and no appetite (recovering from bad injuries), so I’m scouting my mind for food that sounds yummy and is also easy to prepare.

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