Co-op vegan pie review
As former meat-eaters, we have tried and tested the Co-op vegan pies to see how they compare to the original snack. Whether you're vegetarian, vegan, trying to cut down on meat, or just curious about innovative new products, we'll talk you through the pie experience.
A UK picnic and lunchbox classic, the pork pie has now had a plant-based makeover. The Co-op released a whole new range of their GRO brand products in January 2021. One of the best is the four pack GRO 4 Vegan Pies 'with a tasty plant protein filling'.
Look inside the Co-op vegan pie
- The filling is made from soya protein, onion and potato. Sometimes you get the odd little cube of potato in the filling which is nice.
- The crust is a crumbly shortcrust with a light texture.
- Unbelievably, they've even replicated the jelly bits in the pie!
Our review of the vegan pie
So similar to the traditional meat version, it's hard to remember that it's vegan. For lifelong vegans, the pie is almost like eating a very dense vegan sausage roll or veggie haggis filling, in a shortcrust pastry.
- First bite. When you first bite into it, the pastry maybe doesn't have the exact same glaze as the traditional pie. It's still shiny and shortcrust, but not as glossy a finish. This might be to do with an egg wash. The pastry is great. It's just the right amount of crumbly and crunchy.
- Size. The mini size is perfect, as the pies are quite dense. You sometimes see a little cube of potato which makes it feel quite homemade. The filling does not feel as questionable as the pork content in the traditional pie.
- Taste. The taste of the filling is lovely. It is well seasoned, almost spiced with a hint of something wintery. They are peppery and not overly-salted. The pie crust doesn't have too much flavour, it's all about the filling. This again matches what you'd expect from a traditional pork pie.
- Texture. In a pork pie, you encouter a layer of jelly or sometimes cubes of jelly. In the vegan pies, Co-op have replicated this, for the jelly fans! There are tiny crystals of jelly, but it is very soft and just melts away. You won't find any hard or gristly bits in the filling. The texture of the filling is slightly more crumbly than the pork type. If you've never tried a pork pie before, the texture is similar to what you might find in a vegan sausage roll.
Cost of the pies
- A four pack of these small Co-op GRO Vegan Pies will cost you £2.50 for 200g.
- Just to compare, a four pack of Co-op Mini Melton Mowbray Pork Pies will cost you £2 for 200g.
With a difference of 50p, keep an eye out for vegan introductory price bargains.
Where to buy the vegan pies
These are something you might pick up on a conveneice run to your local Co-op. For now, Co-op stores are the only place stocking these pies.
Why should we try to be greener folk?
For your own health, a 140g Co-op traditional Melton Mowbray pork pie contains 33.6g of fat. This includes lard, hydrogenated vegetable oil and pork fat. Also, the jelly bits in traditional pies are usually made from pig's trotters...
We aren't saying that the vegan pies are healthy either. Snack food is still snack food, and processed foods are still processed foods. However, switching to a plant-based alternative like the Co-op GRO vegan pie isn't as dangerous for your cholesterol.