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Boca Bratwurst Meatless Dinner Sausages

January 16, 2008
What it is: A meatless bratwurst made using soy protein
How it comes: 10-oz. package, with four (4) individually wrapped meatless sausage links
Where it is: In the frozen food section of your supermarket
Who it's for: Anyone who'd like to save fat and calories while enjoying a bratwurst (and for vegetarians)
Suggested retail price: $3.59
Nutrition notes: 65 percent less fat and 40 percent fewer calories than traditional bratwurst, with no cholesterol, and 9 grams soy protein per link
Category: Fabulous Food: A healthy twist

Bonnie: No, I’m not a vegetarian. But I do occasionally have to try meatless burgers and sausages for my various writing outlets. In fact, that’s how I discovered how tasty these meatless bratwurst could be.

In looking for low-fat grilling items for my shopper’s column in Better Homes & Gardens’ Heart Healthy Living magazine, I contacted Boca spokesperson Sydney Lindner to learn about their meatless sausages. I wanted to consider one of their low-fat sausages for my summer grilling story. Syd, a Wisconsin-native, suggested I try them Midwestern-style — that is, simmered gently for 10 minutes in beer to cover, along with a white onion, sliced into rings, then grilled or pan seared about 2 minutes until evenly browned.

Dutifully, I tested them just as Syd had described.

I then dished up the beer-infused brats onto a Dijon mustard-coated bun and topped them with the beer-infused onions. Truth be told, it was yummy. Truly yummy, while saving about 14 grams of fat and 100 calories compared to one pork-based bratwurst. I liked that savings a lot too.

I generally use sausages (full-fat yummy ones such as chorizo) for their flavor in soups, stews, eggs, pasta and rice dishes. I don’t often eat an entire sausage on a roll, as it frequently gives me indigestion. Not meatless ones. And yet another reason to recommend them.

And I almost forgot; be sure to wash this down with an icy cold brew.

Bryan: We’ve written about meatless products before and I always let readers know, I’m not really a ‘meatless’ fan. When given the choice between a brat and a Boca brat, I’ll take the brat. (call me a glutton if you will). That preface aside, I’ll also tell you when something tastes good. While you might think that anything boiled with onions and beer would taste good, you’d be wrong (try it with tofu cubes and get back to me). The Boca brats are good though, actually quite good with this preparation. A rough cut crusty roll, some sautéed peppers and a slather of mustard makes for a really great snack. Dieters looking to cut fat and calories while keeping taste intact should salivate at the thought of this great sandwich. Vegetarians should take a bite and learn what all the meat-eating fuss is about (well, almost). Simpsons fans may remember that “you don’t win friends with salad,” but you might have a chance with these faux brats.

Eric: You’re damn right, “you don’t win friends with salad.” I remember the first time (and the last time) I tried one of the Boca Bratwursts because, coincidentally enough, it happened on the same day. I’m not a vegetarian, and, although I’ve admitted that I enjoy vegetables with my meal, I don’t like them being the main focus, and I don’t enjoy being tricked into eating them. I remember I had a hankering for a juicy onion and pepper sandwich similar to what both my mother and brother were referring…to me, this sandwich is one of the greasiest, most delicious I have ever tasted…and for one time it was ruined by the presence of a faux brat. I was tricked into gracing my sandwich with one of these Frankenstein monstrosities of food science, and I’ve been put off by this product ever since. Now any meat-eater will point out that I should have been able to recognize the difference between a real bratwurst and the Boca Bratwurst, and to this I say, “I know.”

Although this product has emotionally scarred me from enjoying an onion, pepper and sausage sandwich, it also has good qualities. For a vegetarian product it has a firm texture, as well as good taste. The nutritional value is high enough to be recognizable and it’s filling. That aside – remember, “if a cow had the chance, it would probably eat you…”

43 Comments on “Boca Bratwurst Meatless Dinner Sausages”

  1. Red Icculus Says:

    I like these. They have a great flavor. The thing that is “un-brat” about them is their texture. It is softer and less grainy than your traditional brat.

  2. Better Homes and Gardens magazine Says:

    Better Homes and Gardens magazine…

    I never looked at it that way, but your post makes sense to me thank you very much….

  3. sgh Says:

    I’ve been trying to find this product at my local supermarket, Stop & shop but cannot find it. Could you help me find this product? I live in CT, zip code 06473.
    Thanks

  4. Bonnie Tandy Leblang Says:

    SGH, I contacted Boca spokesperson Sydney Lindner to find the answer for you. Syd said they’ll find out and post it here. So stay tuned.

  5. Bonnie Tandy Leblang Says:

    I just learned from Boca that the bratwurst are available in Whole Foods and Wild Oats nationwide. I ask them again for something in your zip code!

  6. Bonnie Tandy Leblang Says:

    P.S. Heard back from Boca again: Nearest Whole Foods is in Glastonbury. And there is one in West Hartford. Both about 26 miles. Consumer should call first to be sure it is in stock since there is no whole foods right there. 06473 needs a Whole Foods

    (I so agree — are you listening Whole Foods?)

  7. bradthefresser Says:

    I’m sorry but I can’t say enough to discourage placing this into your mouth. Once you have, you are facing a well seasoned but nonetheless ill disguised mouthful of meat substitute. The texture is what really hurts this product as a real brat will have the skin that pops and crunches when you sink your teeth into it. The Boca brat becomes an immediate mass of mush in your mouth and chewing it was a chore. Never again…

  8. JShas Says:

    These faux brats are the best I’ve had – I’m a vegetarian. Great cooked over a fire on a camping trip, too! For those of you that are meat eaters and are trying to get all the taste of meat from soy-protein, it’s a lost cause. It’s never going to taste just like meat, so you can cease equating it with the grease-filled, fatty real thing. And for the reviewer that called it “Frankenstein monstrosities of food science”…you should see what they do to the poor pigs that go into your Real Brats…now that’s frankenstein.

  9. Sean Says:

    These are great! To “bradthefresser”, if they were mush then they were overcooked. These do not take very long to cook on the grill, but done right, they are firm and very tasty. Just add a little mustard to these and you have a great tasting alternative to the highly fattening original.

  10. Marge Lucas Says:

    in Vancouver,Wa. and in West Seattle,Wa.,I have been told that the Brats are no longer made…please continue making them and tell me where I can get them….they are the best!

  11. Mr. Smith Says:

    I just called Boca today to find out where to buy these in Seattle and was told they have discontinued the whole sausage line. I made sure to tell them how disappointed I was because these things are amazing. I hope they get enough feedback from the comsumers that they bring them back.

  12. DIANE BRUNETTE Says:

    I miss my Boca Brats!!!! Being from Wisconsin it is practically a necessary food group. Please reconsider and bring them back. If you have any laying around your warehouse I will buy them. Thanks!!!

  13. pam jarvis Says:

    My husband and I love Boca brats. Being from WI and raised on brats we really missed brats when we became vegetarians. We are so thankful that we have something we can bring to cookouts. We love them grilled then simmered in beer, onions, mustard and celery seed. It was my dad’s recipe for regular brats and we started doing it to the Boca brats. Very nummy.
    Please continue making Boca brats. We really appreciate them.
    Pam

  14. Chad Bromeisl Says:

    I am down to my last box of Boca Brats! WHile I liked the sausage stye (the red ones) the best, the Bratwurst style is very good. I, too have contacted Boca about the brats. I am very saddened that they have discontinued the line. I am also disappointed with the line of products they have on the shelves right now. I have tried the Morningstar Farms version of the Brat and I had to spit it out it tasted soo bad (I like most of MF other products). Bring Back Boca Brats!

  15. Boca Spokesperson Says:

    We appreciate the enthusiasm for our brats. While there was a loyal consumer following for BOCA Brats, there was not enough interest to sustain the product. As such we have discontinued it. We continue to offer consumers several great tasting BOCA items. Specific product info can be found at http://www.bocafoods.com. We hope consumers will continue to enjoy BOCA products and are pleased we are able to offer other great tasting meatless soy-based options.

  16. h simpson Says:

    I am a 100% meat loving person, but Boca Brats are quick and healthy lunch alternantive that i can nuke in the microwave and have a great lunch option. I’ve been trying to buy Boca brats for a few weeks and couldn’t figure out why they weren’t available in 3-4 different grocery stores that I looked for them in. Now upon doing a little research I see they are discontinued. This amazes me considering how hard it is to establish a “brand” and a following and then to not keep that going, especially in this economy. This is a halo product for you, I was introduced to Boca Brats first and then because I liked those I’ve purchased other Boca products (even though I’m not a vegetarian etc…). I really hope the Boca team changes their mind and brings this product back as it’s a winner with a world of losers. I realize that your economic data may have told you different, but some times the “soft data” may be as important or more than the hard data. Hope you keep an open mind and bring it back when you can. I’ll buy them & tell others to buy them. it’s that simple. take care.

  17. Jessica Says:

    I’ve moved on … I highly recommend Trader Joe’s brand of Meatless italian sausage. I was a big fan of Boca Brats, and, dare I say, TJ’s are better! Try them!

  18. Syd Says:

    Employee of BOCA brand here. We appreciate the enthusiasm for our brats. While there was a loyal consumer following for them, there was not enough interest to sustain the product. As such we have discontinued it. We continue to offer several great tasting BOCA items. Specific product info can be found at http://www.bocafoods.com. We hope you will continue to enjoy BOCA products and are pleased we are able to offer other great tasting meatless soy-based options.

  19. Mary Says:

    I belong to a food co-op and have always been able to get my favorite Boca Bratwurst by the case. The last time I ordered them, they were not delivered. I have gone to a health food store in our area – no bratwurst. These are the best things we have tried and I miss them a great deal. I serve them with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut – they cannot be beat!!

  20. Bob C Says:

    My wife is so disappointed by the loss of Boca Brats she is seriously considering becoming a meat eater again! Thank you Boca, you likely can’t imagine how much easier you are going to make mealtime for me! :)

    Seriously, she doesn’t want any more Boca products in the house because she is so upset about the discontinuation of the brats.

    We picked up some from Whole Foods, not sure what flavor of sausage exactly, and she says they were awful.

  21. Elizabeth Says:

    Why are they discontinuing this product. My fave vegetarian product yet!

  22. Stacy Hay Says:

    We will no longer buy BOCA products!!! Thanks for letting your “loyal vegetarian consumers” know that Boca Brats have been discontinued! this stinks!

  23. Chad Bromeisl Says:

    BRING BACK the BRATS! (let me hear ya!)
    BRING BACK the BRATS! (c’mon BOCA!)
    BRING BACK the BRATS!
    BRING BACK the BRATS!

  24. Marge Says:

    Stacy…I used to feel the same way….now I feel that BOCA products are for meatless eaters that still need a “meat” thing or an idea of “meat”on their plate…please read Michael Pollan….”In Defense of Food”….Marge

  25. kim Says:

    I too, am so dissapointed. The sausages were truly a family favorite. even the meat eating kids LOVED them. I’ve tried a bunch of others and none even come close. No one (including myself) has liked even 1 other brand we’ve tried. I hope they bring these back, I will buy ‘em up as quickly as possible! Very unhappy about this!

  26. Vicky Says:

    Please bring back the brat! It was my favorite BOCA product. At first I thought it was just sold out. So I would stop at the store everyday hoping they would be restocked.The day never came. It is so disappointing to go to the store and see that it’s not there. Why is it that whatever the product; when you have a favorite it seems to disappear!

  27. Pat Hughes Says:

    PLEASE, bring back the brats! This is the best product ever! How could do this. Please rethink this decision or make it avail to us brat lovers.

  28. Marcus Says:

    Tofurkey makes brats, if I remember correctly. Boca… too bad for you.

    The best veg sausages I’ve had are Field Roast. They don’t try too hard to be meat. Really good.

  29. Derrick Says:

    Bring back the brats! We miss them.

  30. Kat Pierquet Says:

    Where are my favorite brats!!!!!!! Bring them back!!!!
    Even my non-vegetarian friends like them.

  31. Pat Hughes Says:

    BRING BACK THE BRAT!!!! YOU GOT ME HOOKED, HOW COULD HAVE TAKEN THEM AWAY???????

  32. Judy M Says:

    I had a stash of these in the freezer and used em up so went hunting for more, to no avail. I am another super disappointed customer that these have been discontinued. They are the only thing I can make that my meat-eating friends say is a great substitute for meat. The breakfast sausages are great, too, but not on pizza! I am really disheartened by this. I HATE MORNINGSTAR FARMS.

  33. Tammy Says:

    Who do we need to contact to get the boca brats back? What about this being a seasonal product? I’m sure that sales were up during the grilling season and down in the winter months. Boca needs to reconsider this decision as there are a lot of unhappy consumers out there.

  34. Bonnie Tandy Leblang Says:

    Sorry to say, I just spoke to the Boca Spokesperson who said that there are no plans to bring them back.
    I say, “Bummer!”

  35. R Allen Says:

    The Boca Brats are by far my favorite Boca product and the only one I have bought with any regularity. I first had them at Bratfest in WI and have bought them regularly since. After moving to WA, they were harder to find, and then not at all. I am very disappointed to hear that they are discontinued.

    What would it take to bring Boca Brats back? Maybe just during grilling season, to reduce production cost? We fans could stock up then! Please consider, or at least let us know what it would take to bring it back. It makes me wonder if there were other problems with the product besides lack of sales? Storage? Ingredients? E. coli (just kidding)? I have not found an equivalent veggie brat. Love your brats!

  36. Jeanne Ertz Says:

    Help! Where do I get Boca bratwurst in St. Paul,Minnesota (east side preferred, but will go anywhere in St. Paul) or River Falls,Wisconsin? In Wisconsin, close to Hudson or Elsworth. Thanks, Jeanne

  37. Jeanne Ertz Says:

    Help! Where do I get Boca bratwurst in St. Paul,Minnesota (east side preferred, but will go anywhere in St. Paul) or River Falls,Wisconsin? In Wisconsin, close to Hudson or Elsworth. Thanks, Jeanne This is the first time I attempted this email. Hope someone can help me.

  38. Derrick Says:

    @Jeanne, the brats have been off the market for over a year now. They are not available in any regional market.

  39. Stella Says:

    Jeanne, We no longer buy Boca products since they removed the brats!
    But give field roast products a try! Absolutely delish.

  40. used yamaha double trumpet case Says:

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  42. charlie2444 Says:

    Boca no longer make either the Brats or the Italian Sausage any more PLEASE NOTE!

  43. Bonnie from BiteoftheBest.com Says:

    Charlie, …. sadly we know that .. as you can see from the dialogue in this comment section.

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