Do you ever wonder what itâ€™s like to be a food scientist? I mean, somewhere in this country, right now, in any number of laboratories, there are chemists standing around in white lab coats, creating the next flavor sensation over a Bunsen burner and an Erlenmeyer flask. Do they have a list of objectives for each new invention? “Step 1: Create new convenience food. Step 2: Test flavor. Make improvements if necessary. Step 3: Collect paycheck. Buy Maserati.” Seriously, some of these folks earn up to six figures. When you throw in the added challenge of using meat substitutes for dishes traditionally reserved for the real thing, it makes that hefty paycheck seem all the more reasonable, especially if it turns out pretty well.
Morningstar Farms has a nice fake meat thing going on, and it appears their food technicians have mad skills in the stuffed sandwich science department. It’s like they took a look at the other smaller, less flavorful stuffed breakfast sandwich failures on the grocery shelves and said to themselves, “We can rebuild these. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first frozen, vegetarian stuffed sandwich with fake sausage.” They vowed that the Morningstar Farms Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit would be that sandwich… A Six-Million Dollar Biscuit, sold for $6. Hot, buttery, and fluffy on the inside, crispy and flaky on the outside, and stuffed with delicious, low-fat ingredients that wonâ€™t slide out. And it would be huge for a frozen biscuit. Not teensy like some other brands. Better. Stronger. Tastier. And there’d be a fake bacon one, too.
I’m pleased to say that, on the whole, those crazy scientists have succeeded. The other frozen vegetarian sandwiches I’ve tried just don’t compare to the Morningstar Farms Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit. For one, the other sandwiches lack fake meat, opting for just eggs and cheese. I’ve always preferred breakfast sandwiches that combine the holy trinity of eggs, cheese and some type of meat, and having low-fat, vegetarian sausage crumbles in place of full-fat pork or turkey sausage makes the whole thing even more attractive. Sometimes you just crave that third flavor in a sandwich to kind of balance everything out. Three is the magic number, after all. It’s science.
However, I discovered that the number three isn’t so wonderful. Startlingly, it took me three separate attempts to cook the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit to an appropriate temperature and texture. Itâ€™s pretty strange, considering the warning on the box that the biscuit filling may be “EXTREMELY HOT” after cooking (presumably once), and that the biscuits themselves may be “too hot to handle.” It took a lot more time to get either of these advisories to come true. And even then, it was never too hot to handle.
The first time, I followed the packageâ€™s microwave instructions, and the result was just okay. The innards had been sufficiently cooked, but the biscuit itself was left a little bit spongy. On my second try, I used the conventional oven instructions and discovered to my horror, that the innards were still a bit cool, even after sitting in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes. For my final attempt, I combined the two methods: I microwaved the biscuit for 15 seconds then placed it in the oven for the full amount of time. It came out perfectly: soft, warm, crispy-on-the-edges biscuit on the outside with a hot, sausage-egg-and-cheese mixture on the inside. The texture of the veggie sausage crumbles was exactly what I expected, but the cheese was a bit runny and may have gotten soaked up by the scrambled egg. It tasted much better than before, though. Good thing they sell these things in boxes of three.
The Morningstar Farms Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuit makes an excellent breakfast, but not if youâ€™re in any particular hurry. The Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit is indeed state-of-the-art, but the Morningstar Farms scientists should have been a little more precise with their cooking instructions. Getting the temperature of my breakfast just right was a trial that brought me a little closer to the plight of a true food scientistâ€¦ only the reward for my scientific experimentation had slightly less vrooom.
(Nutrition Facts â€“ 1 biscuit (105g) – 270 calories, 80 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 3.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 600 milligrams of sodium, 190 milligrams of potassium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 10 grams of protein. 4% vitamin A, 10% calcium, and 15% iron.)
Item: Morningstar Farms Sausage, Egg & Cheese Biscuits
Price: $3.99 (on sale; normally $5.99)
Size: 3 biscuits/11.1 ounces
Purchased at: Pavilions
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Buttery biscuit. Low-fat breakfast. Savory vegetarian sausage crumbles. “3” is the magic number. Bigger and denser than other stuffed breakfast sandwiches. Erlenmeyer flasks. Lee Majors.
Cons: Took three different attempts to get the right temperature and texture. Liquid cheese. Not for those in a rush. Less horsepower than a Maserati. $6 regular price tag.