Vegan Adventures In Veggie Land: Part 4

Alpro, thy time has come!

It has been a very long time - 13 years in fact - since I tried any Alpro products at all. At the time, there were only three of their products available locally. I used to enjoy two of these very much. So when I saw new products whilst I was out shopping, I thought I'd give this vegan mainstay another go. I'm cramming all but one of the Alpro products we've tried recently into this one post, so it's a little long! It's worth a read though, even if I do say so myself!

First up we have the chocolate deserts and the caramel deserts. These were the first vegan things I'd ever knowingly tried all those years ago. Then they were not bad, but I could taste the soya a little (the taste of which I'm still not a fan) so I wouldn't swap from my lovely dairy-based yoghurts. I should also point out that, at the time, I was not even a vegetarian, so these were unlikely to appeal to me!

However, Alpro appear to be one of the few long-standing vegan brands which seem to have improved vastly over time! The off-putting taste of soya has gone AWOL, which is a fantastic thing! The deserts themselves are thick and gloopy, just like these sorts of things should be. The chocolate ones are really chocolatey, which is nice considering that some vegan chocolate products just aren't. The caramel is sweet, without being too overpowering, but for me the taste isn't quite strong enough. They are both much better than I remember them though, and I'll happily purchase these as well as my regular yoghurts. They are still slightly more expensive than their dairy counterparts, but not off-puttingly so.

Anneka also bought and tried the vanilla and dark chocolate ones. I'm not a big fan of either of those flavours in anything really, so I haven't tried them. She tells me they are also "really nice!"

Next we have the yoghurts. Alpro do a good range of what they call 'plant based alternatives to yoghurt' but sadly only a few are available to me locally. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about these as they are soya based and, as I've mentioned, I don't like the taste of soya. However, I did say to Anneka "If anybody can get this right, it'll be Alpro." For the most part, I was right. These yoghurts are very good indeed.

The first one I tried was the strawberry-banana flavour. Unfortunately, I did not particularly like this one. Whilst you can taste both flavours, the yoghurt is incredibly sweet. I have a huge sweet tooth, and used to be able to quite easily munch through an entire tub of Ben and Jerry's or Häagen-Dazs without batting an eyelid. This yoghurt was, however, too sweet for even me. The colour is also a little off-putting. In fact, it looks like vomit. Sorry, but that's exactly what it reminded me of. I'm happy to say that the peach-pear flavour faired much better in this test. Personally I find pears a little boring, but I do like peaches. This yoghurt had a nice balance of both, and wasn't too sweet. The colour, as sort of orangey-green was acceptable also. However, neither flavour really inspired me to replace my regular yoghurts with these.

Next up were the raspberry-cranberry and blackberry flavours. I absolutely love dairy yoghurts with these flavours, so I had high hopes for these. Unfortunately, they fell a little short - but only by the narrowest of margins. There are two problems with both of these. Firstly, the flavours are just not punchy enough. Given the tartness of the fruits in these, you'd expect a bit of a zingy hit. Neither flavours delivered this in acceptable levels. The zing was there, but it was restrained, tempered. They aren't as sweet though as the previous flavours, so thats something at least.

Lastly we have the blueberry and cherry flavours. I don't like cherries themselves (although I do like cherryade...), so I didn't try that flavour. I'm not a huge fan of blueberries either - I just find them a little bland for my personal preferences. However, this blueberry yoghurt was quite pleasant. There was enough blueberry for the taste to cut through the sweetness of the base product. It was also a very pleasing purple/blue colour too - as you'd expect really. Unfortunately, just like the other yoghurts featured here, these were also just not quite good enough for me to consider switching. Not yet anyway - I expect that, just like the deserts, these will improve in time. So maybe one day...

Next up were the Alpro 'milkshakes'. Technically, of course, they are not - they contain no dairy. But that's clearly what they are intended to replace, so that's what I'll be calling them. We both tried the strawberry and chocolate ones, whilst Anneka tried the vanilla (boring!) ones. The strawberry one was okay, with enough strawberry flavour to tell that's what it was. It drank like a cheap dairy milkshake you'd find anywhere, which for me is a little too thin and watery. It was also not too sweet, which was a pleasant surprise. The problem is that you can taste the soya. Sadly, while the drink is not unpleasant, they soya taste lets it down. The chocolate one was much better! It delivered an intensely satisfying hit of chocolatey goodness! Not too sweet, no residual soya taste, but still a touch too thin for me. The main problem with these is the price. At £1.27 in Morrisons for three tiny (250ml each) drinks, it's just not worth it for the quality.

Finally (and I bet you're glad of that aren't you?!), we have this. It's Alpro's take on chocolate ice-cream. And boy is it good! Seriously, game changingly good! Not enough to make me disown my love for dairy ice-cream (there are currently only three flavours) - but it comes very close. It's rich, creamy (how?!) and chocolatey. It's very easy to scoop. It delivers an immense wave of powerful, hard-hitting flavour! Seriously now - I defy anyone to tell the difference between this and a dairy-based chocolate ice-cream. It really is that good. It's made me long for the day when they come out with a strawberry version of this, or something with chocolate brownie chunks and salted caramel swirls....! Just go and buy some!

That's all for this part of my vegan adventure! I hope you've found it useful and informative, and hopefully a little entertaining. For the next, and final, part, I have a big surprise for you all (which was also a big surprise for me!)...

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