Review: Provender Brown's Vegan Snacks!

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We all love a snack in the Small City office. As I’m typing this, I have a bar of dark chocolate peeking temptingly on my desk, beside an assortment of mini pittas and dip. Fun fact: we once tried to have a snack drawer in the office, but after the first day when we ate through the entire week’s supply it is sadly no more.

It’s a really common misconception that it’s hard – or even impossible - to snack as a vegan. Sure, initially it can be a little bit difficult when you’re scanning labels and such, but with a little time – and preparation – it’s a pretty straightforward venture!

When I heard that one of my favourite Perth indies, Provender Brown, were trailing stocking some new vegan treats, I was of course, first in line to find out more! They generously offered me some snacks take with me in exchange for my honest review, and I more than happily obliged.

So without further ado, I present to you my hot takes on the new vegan offerings! Spoiler alert: they’re all incredible.

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Mr. Filbert’s Pumpkin Seeds in ‘Tumeric & Black Pepper’, and ‘Tamari & Miso’


I loooove these. I always have a bunch of pumpkin seeds around in the kitchen to sprinkle atop meals, because they just add that nice bit of depth – and are great for getting essential fats in, which can be a bit trickier on a vegan diet in the initial stages! These are the perfect snack to have on your desk at work, to fuel a study session, or even to pop in your handbag. They’re moreish and because they’re lighter than other alternative snacks, it’s perfect for a boost of energy if you’re feeling sluggish, while still satiating your hunger. Mr. Filbert’s seeds are slowly tumbled in hot air – not fried – to maintain their health benefits, so you’re getting the full extent of their nutritional goodness. Great if you love to snack like me, and are looking for something a bit healthy! The tamari and miso flavour is great if you love a hit of ‘umami’ flavour – think mouth-wateringly savoury, with a certain rich depth. The tumeric and black pepper has a nice warmth to it, with the hints of coriander and ginger giving a really well rounded flavour. The seeds themselves have a satisfying crunch too.

0v

Sheese Extra Mature Cheddar


Okay, I’ll admit it: I actually wasn’t expecting to like this a whole lot. But I was (very) happy to be proved wrong! First things first, I think if you’re a vegan or just someone who has experimented with dairy-free cheese alternatives at all, you’ll know – it can be grim out there. Secondly, I’ve never really been so much of a cheese person, even prior to adopting a vegan lifestyle! While my flatmate works at a cheesery and tells me tales of highly matured blue cheeses and more, I think the most adventurous I was in my pre vegan days was mozzarella in its various forms. So something with “extra mature” in its title made me feel a bit wary. However, breaking off a little piece on a cracker, I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed it! It has a somewhat crumbly yet smooth texture. While it still was quite strong and pungent, the coconut oil base mellowed this out somewhat, and after taking a wee while to get used to it, I actually really enjoyed it! I think this would be perfect to eat with grapes and biscuits, or even melted into a macaroni cheese, topped with a sprig of coriander and freshly ground black pepper.

00v

Vegan Sausage Roll


Step aside Greggs, because there’s a new roll that’s just er, rolled into town. And it’s not messing around. Made by Scotch & Co in Ayrshire, it’s a really decent size – I can imagine this would be the perfect hangover cure, or just a really nice, hearty lunch if you’re wanting to treat yourself. It’s served cold, but you can heat it up in the microwave for a few seconds before if you prefer yours hot. The pastry has just the right amount of flake to it – not burned and crisp, but not too soft either. The filling actually made for a really interesting alternative to the sausage I was expecting – instead of a meat alternative, I was greeted with spiced chickpea goodness. There was a lovely hint of sun dried tomato in the mix too, giving a bit of a tart, tang of flavour amongst the herbal, earthy flavours. The distinct chilli glaze offered a bit of depth too, giving sweet warmth that was really lovely. I think the thing that stuck out to me about this roll is that it’s not trying to be a sausage roll, it’s a vegan roll on its own terms. So if that’s what you’re looking for, I’d wholeheartedly recommend this.

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ChicP Houmous – Beetroot & Horseradish, and Carrot, Ginger & Tumeric.


Houmous: it’s a vegan staple. I could (and have) go through tubs of it weekly! To be honest though, I tend to stick to the classic full fat, unflavoured houmous varieties, occasionally drizzling in some olive oil or za’atar if I fancy it. So I was a bit excited to try these new flavours! The ethos behind ‘Chic P’ is pretty cool – created by chef Hannah McCollum, she uses ‘imperfect’ veggies that would otherwise be wasted. Working as a chef, she was dismayed by the massive amounts of food waste she saw daily, and set forth to create a product underpinned by her desire to change attitudes around cooking and waste. Given that a staggering one-third of food produced in the U.K. is never eaten (yes, really), it’s a worthy cause. But the question is: does it live up to the taste test?
Houmous: it’s a vegan staple.Opening both pots, the first thing that struck me was how vibrant the colours were! I tried the beetroot flavour first: it has a really mellow, earthy sweetness to it with a bit of tang from the horseradish. It would be great mixed into a Buddha bowl, for example, as the houmous flavours were not too overpowering, making it a versatile choice when enjoyed with other ingredients. Next up, the carrot flavour. I loved this one – it was really zesty and unique – I don’t think I’d ever really tasted anything like it before! This one was almost leaning toward a puree texture wise – it was a little bit less thick, which I think would make it an ideal option for dips – I enjoyed mine with some freshly toasted mini pittas and cherry tomatoes at my desk. Carrot and ginger are a revitalising pairing, and in addition to tumeric, are packed with nutrients with a whole host of benefits to leave you glowing.

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Booja Booja Raspberry Truffles


Dessert time! I love a sweet treat and these truffles looked absolutely divine – the packaging gets a 10/10 alone. Chilled for optimum freshness, these truffles are made with 100% dark raw chocolate, produced in Ecuador. Made with only five organic, high quality ingredients, these truffles prove that sometimes, less is more. Popping one in my mouth, I noted that the chocolate had a lovely bitterness and depth to it. As it slowly began to melt in my mouth and I bit into it, this was contrasted by the berry, fruity sweetness of the raspberry centre. The raspberry did not have a saccharine sweetness, but more of a fruity rounded berry taste. It’s a divine, bittersweet pairing – my mouth is watering just recalling it! I’m not the only one who thinks so, either – Nigella Lawson and the iconic Jameela Jamil are amongst the fans of this little wonder. Well, if it’s good enough for their tastes….

**

So next time you’re strolling down George Street, make sure to stop by Provender Brown to stock up on these yummy treats. I know I will be!

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