While picking up chicken sausage at Trader Joe's, I saw a product I hadn't tried: Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo. I often need chorizo for stew recipes, and usually just substitute spicy chicken sausage, but seeing a vegetarian option made me curious. Would the extra spice give my stews more flavor? I decided to find out.
Each package contains two large links with five servings each. For my recipe, I wanted to use just one link, but I found the packaging a little difficult to maneuver. First, there was a dark red juice in the package that got everywhere when I cut the package open. Next, I tried to slip one link out of the stiff plastic, but after struggling for a bit, I found that the two casings were tied together. Finally I cut them apart and put the chorizo on my cutting board.
The outside of the package said to remove the casing before cooking, and my recipe said to slice the chorizo. I started by pulling the casing off one end - only to find that the soy chorizo crumbled upon removal of the casing that held it together. On the other side, I tried to slice it with the casing still on, removing the casing after slicing, but even slicing it made the soy crumble out the sides of the casing. Finally, I just put it into my stew as crumbles instead of slices.
In its raw form, the chorizo was quite spicy, but once cooked, it didn't really add much heat to my dish. Unfortunately, it did give a lot of that telltale soy aftertaste, common in products like soy yogurt or ice cream. I was really disappointed with the flavor and consistency.
The nutrition stats, while better than regular chorizo, are still not great. Each 70 gram serving of Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo (about 1/5th of the package), provides 140 calories, 10 grams of total fat of which 1.5 grams of saturated fat (15% and 8% of the daily value respectively), 700 mg sodium (29% of the daily value), 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of carbohydrates which includes 4 grams of fiber (16% of the DV) and 2 grams of sugar.
I paid $4.99 for this two pack of soy chorizo, and was ultimately pretty disappointed with the taste, consistency, and nutritionals. While I'll finish off what I have left, I won't be buying this again.