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Way back in 2014 we discovered Sweet Earth Foods and were introduced to their products with their Big Sur Breakfast Burrito and their Baja Breakfast Burrito. "Both burritos were a big hit," we said at the time, noting that they would be just as good for lunch or a quick dinner as for breakfast.
The following year we reviewed their Curry Tiger, Kyoto, and Anasazi Burritos - all also receiving thumbs up - and riding on a wave of optimism, their Teriyaki, Za'atar, and Santa Fe Veggie Burgers, of which only the Teriyaki Burger was acceptable to our panel. They've since branched out further to Bowls, with flavors ranging from Southeast Asian to Italian, empanadas, and even pizza. Of 35 products we've reviewed, they're received negative reviews for only 9.
So the prospect of reviewing a couple of new burritos from Sweet Earth Foods was certainly no hardship. These sell for $3.69 each at our local Whole Foods Market.
We started our session with their Buffalo-Style Chik'n Burrito, which has 310 calories, 560 milligrams of sodium and a fairly impressive 4 grams of fiber.
Sweet Earth Foods continues to do right what is has done right with just about all of its burritos. Placed on a plate and covered with a paper towel, the burrito is microwaved 1 minute per side and comes out hot but ready to be held in the hand: neither dry nor slimy, with a tender yet chewy tortilla.
The down side is in the filling. Really good Buffalo chicken wings have a balance between the heat of the hot sauce, the sourness of the vinegar, the umami of the chicken and the sweetness of the celery.
This has the same "Mindful Chik'n" in it as their Chik'n Fajita Bowl, but in this burrito we just can't taste it at all - "It's not meaty in the least," my wife remarked. All we could taste is vinegar and hot sauce, with the occasional hit of celery and carrots. It's far more Buffalo than anything even a little chicken-like. If you love Buffalo wings, this may be for you, but it's not for us.
We were a bit more hesitant about the Awesome Cheeseburger Burrito (440 calories, 600 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber). We've seen Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese (here's a recipe for a Quick Cheeseburger Mac and a Bacon Cheeseburger Mac), but putting a cheeseburger in a burrito seems both unusual and oddly inevitable. Why not just have a burger?
Then we read the description: "Plant-based Awesome Grounds, with melty Monterey Jack, kale and a tangy tomato onion salsa."
Why would you put kale and tomato salsa on a cheeseburger?
Once again my wife had the right of it: "That's an awful lot of greenery for a cheeseburger."
It looks more like a breakfast burrito than a cheeseburger, and the flavor doesn't help: there's far too much bitter kale and sweet tomato to fool anyone into thinking this is a cheeseburger, and the texture is more slimy than cheesy.
Once again, the meat substitute's flavor is subsumed into the other ingredients. Meat substitutes can be good - and we know Sweet Earth makes good ones - but they are not used to their best advantage in these burritos. Too bad.
Posted: December 18, 2020