THIS week, Carrs Pasties launched its new vegan range. Reporter TOM MOLLOY tasted them for himself.

CARRS Pasties has followed bakeries such as Greggs in introducing a vegan range in order to give more choice to the growing number of vegans and vegetarians in the country.

The Bolton bakery recently asked customers which products they would like to see added to the range and a vegan option was the most requested.

A vegan ‘meat and potato’ pasty and vegan sausage roll were launched at the Halliwell Road store on Monday.

To produce the products, Carrs Pasties has worked with the Meatless Farm Company, a British company that has developed plant-based alternatives to meat products using ingredients such as rice protein, pea protein, soya protein and fruit and vegetable extracts.

The vegan pasty is based on the Carrs Pasties original meat and potato pasty and uses the same shortcrust pastry, while the vegan sausage roll uses the same seasoning and puff pastry as the Carrs Pasties original sausage roll.

Samples of the vegan products will be available for customers to try at Carrs Pasties Original Shop on Halliwell Road from Monday 19 August. The products will be available to buy at the Bolton Food and Drink Festival and in Carrs Pasties other shops on Manchester Road and at the Market Place Shopping Centre on Friday 23 August.

The verdict:

I tried the pasty first and while I’m not a vegetarian or vegan by any means, my initial reaction was that it is very good.

The taste is a bit more potato-heavy than I’m used to but with it not being meat that is understandable.

The sausage roll is also very nice. I was a big fan of the Greggs vegan sausage roll when I tried that a few months ago so I did have high hopes for this.

For want of a better description, it’s got that classic sausage roll taste, with all the herbs, spices and flavours you would expect. The pastry also flakes off in a nice way like normal sausage roll pastry.

As a meat eater I can definitely tell the difference but I am very impressed with them and I would recommend them to any vegetarian or vegans.