I ate all of Pret's new Vegan Classics and here's what I learned

This post may convince you otherwise, but I really don't eat ready made sandwiches very often. Being a skint student, buying a sarnie from a shop just isn't on the agenda when there's a couple of slices of bread and some vegan filling in the fridge. And then... then, there are the days when you've run out of time and you've not got enough energy to haul yourself to work, let alone into the kitchen. Those days are the days you find yourself in Pret, sniffing around the new Vegan Classics.

Back in October, Pret announced it was launching four new sandwiches, the Vegan Classics -- vegan versions of Pret's most popular omnivorous sandwiches. Instead of egg mayo, there was eggless mayo; vegan chuna replaced tuna; BLT became a mushroom-based VLT, and the hoisin duck was swapped for a hoisin mushroom version. 

When I was a veggie, a good many years ago, an egg mayo sandwich from Pret was a luxury and a Friday treat. The idea of a vegan version seemed just  too appealing -- one day when making lunch seemed all too much, I found myself at the door of the Veggie Pret in Shoreditch, willing to swap £2.99 for a eggless mayo baguette (and another quid or so for some almond butter bites, because lunch needs a little sweet something every now and then.) 

Given it's been more than a decade since I last had an egg sarnie from Pret, how did the eggless version stand up to scrutiny? Well, it was the sort of sandwich that makes me want to stop people and say 'have you tried this? Give it a go, and then you won't need to bother with that egg malarky'. It was probably about 10 percent different from the original I remembered, and just as creamy and squidgy. I love my own homemade eggless mayo sarnies, but I'm not going to lie, I can see myself heading back to Pret for one of these fellas. (Side note: a whole baguette was pretty filling, so go in hungry!)

Having thoroughly enjoyed the eggless baguette, I headed back to Pret the next time my lunch-making willpower failed.  This time, I had the chuna mayo in my sights. 

Chuna mayo, as the name hints, has replaced the fish with chick peas. You wouldn't necessarily know from the taste what the tuna replacement was, and you certainly wouldn't know from the taste: there was a distinctly fishy flavour and aroma to the whole thing. I guess the sea-smell came from seaweed, but again, I think only the hardiest of carnivores would begrudge swapping their omni baguette for the Vegan Classic instead. 

Having tried half of the Vegan Classics, I thought it would pretty rude not to try the other two. The only thing that was bugging me -- they were both mushroom based. Who wants fried, cold mushrooms in their sanger? I'm not sure I did. At least, not until tried them. 

Unlike the other two Classics, the swap from omni to vegan was a bit more obvious -- I think any diehard bacon eater would know someone had pulled a switcheroo on their sandwich filling. Does it make it any less tasty? Of course not! The mushrooms had been dehydrated somehow, giving them more chew and crunch, and flavoured with the paprika and smoke in a nod to bacon flavours. It was surprisingly good.

But the biggest surprise of the four? The hoisin mushroom wrap. I've happily never tried duck, as far as I know, so I don't have anything to compare the Vegan Classic too, either in taste or texture. But who cares? The hoisin mushroom wrap was so much tastier than a wrap with cold mushrooms in it has any right to be. It was sweet and spicy, and not the slimy hot mess I had feared. Another Vegan Classic, another very happy vegan!


  1. We don't have enough vegetarian, let alone vegan, sandwiches around our neck of the wood so I am impressed. The first two would interest me most as I am not such a mushroom person but would give all of them a go.


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