Boca may not be the first company to market veggie burgers, but they are certainly one of the first to hit mainstream grocery stores on a massive scale, and distributed nationally. In the early 90’s when you thought of veggie burger, you thought of Boca Burger. It was a thrilling concept and it gave vegetarians and vegans a convenience food with the texture and mock taste of a hamburger. It caught on quickly and many other companies started marketing veggie burgers too. And with American competition, this is a good thing, because it led to all kinds of flavors and products and expansion of soy products that could replace meat. It gave Americans more choices. Whether a person was diabetic or vegetarian, or vegan, or looking to reduce cholesterol, or had some other health or ethical consideration, the veggie burger was good news for everyone.
The soybean has been around for centuries, but is only in our recent history have we exploited advanced and creative technology to transform soy into high quality, great tasting meat replacements. Boca, like many other companies along the expansion process, developed a fake ground beef product called Boca Meatless Ground Burger.
Boca Meatless Ground Burger is sold in a box in your grocer’s freezer section, where meatless products such as veggie burgers are sold. Boca packages their Meatless Ground Burger in 3 individual sealed plastic bags inside the box. The contents weigh 12 ounces. This individual plastic packaging is convenient for creating single meals which would be the equivalent of using about 4 ounces of fake ground beef.
The ingredients in Boca Meatless Ground Burger are as follows:
Ingredients: WATER, SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, WHEAT GLUTEN, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% MALT EXTRACT, SALT, WHEAT STARCH, YEAST EXTRACT, SUGAR, NATURAL FLAVOR, DRIED ONIONS, GARLIC POWDER, SPICES.
Boca Meatless Ground Burger is Vegan, low fat, contains no cholesterol, is high protein, and contains ZERO trans fat per serving. The coloring resembles that of browned ground beef. Boca Meatless Ground Burger is in the form of loose crumbles. These meatless crumbles are supposed to be used just like ground beef in a meatless recipe. So, in theory, you can make tacos, sloppy joes, chili, meatballs, meat loaf, burgers, stir fry, spaghetti with fake meat sauce, casseroles and pot pies and so on. The uses should be as endless as there are ethnic and American recipes that call for ground beef.
I have personally used Boca Meatless Ground Burger literally hundreds of times over the years. The taste is flavorless, which is a good thing because fake ground beef should have no taste; its purpose is texture and protein to be added to a dish that you determine the flavor, through how you season it. Flavorless is good because that means there is no unpleasant aftertaste or any kind of aftertaste at all. Because I have used Boca Meatless Ground Burger so many times and in so many ways, I have tried it for everything I could possibly want to cook or eat that would normally have ground beef in the recipe. Boca Meatless Ground Burger browns in the skillet well and since they are loose crumbles, there is no effort involved in trying to break up the soy. It works great for making meatless spaghetti sauce. I just fry it up with onions and mushrooms and Italian seasonings and then simmer in tomato sauce and the taste is perfection. The real truth of a great product shows when I can make vegetarian stroganoff or chili or stir fry or Italian dishes and my dinner guests not only compliment the flavor of the meal with great surprise that a vegetarian fake meat dish could tastes so good, but they clean up their plates and sometimes go for seconds. That tells me a lot about how well Boca Meatless Ground Burger works as a ground beef replacement and alternative.
What I don’t like about Boca Meatless Ground Burger is simply its lack of stickiness. Because they are loose crumbles they don’t stick together well unless other ingredients are used to help it along. For example, I would never make veggie burgers out of Boca Meatless Ground Burger because it would require things like ground chickpeas or eggs or something mushy and sticky, and even then, it just does not easily form into a patty. I tried making a fake meat loaf, and although the taste was delicious, it would not slice like a meatloaf. It was more like one big giant mess of fake meat crumbs that happened to be tasty. If I want a veggie burger, I will buy a premade frozen veggie burger or make my own using veggie ingredients and grains. I would not choose Boca Meatless Ground Burger for making veggie burgers. That is the downside, but I hardly consider that a real downside since Boca Meatless Ground Burger can make about 1000 other things and work consistently in a recipe and always meet my expectations. It is a great product and I highly recommend it.