BLUF- A real alternative to a beef patty.
Alright- since when is this a foodie website? Well, it isn’t. What I do try to do is to keep my articles around a central theme; the future, and our place in it. This is a pretty rough idea. The war, other random stuff creeps in from time to time.
Well, the Beyond Burger and its competitors occupy a solid place in this niche, i.e. futuristic developments. When we finally get to Mars, I doubt there will be space made for cows. However, I can certainly see something like cloned meat and dairy products or stuff like the Beyond Burger having a firm place in the diets of settlers and space travelers.
So let’s cut to the chase.
I’m sure many of you have tried vegetarian burgers before. Some of you may be vegetarian and that’s all you’ll eat. If so, that’s fine. The Beyond Burger is for people who really want the meat experience and texture, but don’t actually want an animal to be put to the knife. I get that. Does it live up to its billing?
In my opinion, almost.
First there’s the color/appearance. Somewhat beef-like, but not quite there. As you can see in the above picture the “meat” is close to the color of real beef, but the finished product has a bit of an orange tint to it. Not a game-changer, but some may be thrown a bit.
Then there’s the smell. The raw product has a bit of a whiff of corned beef, oddly enough, but it does smell appetizing as it cooks. Pretty good, even though I would hesitate to call it a true beef simulacrum. An odd detail; the meat appeared to bleed as it heated. Some weird food coloring? A nice touch, if a bit unnecessary.
The texture is excellent. It gives a very meaty, as opposed to pasty feel as I’ve encountered before in veggie burgers. If you ate by candle light you could almost pass this off as the real deal.
And most importantly- the taste. Pretty darn close. For comparison’s sake I followed the Beyond Burger with a real Angus patty- the Angus patty was comparable, although it had the unmistakable iron sub-taste that only real beef can have.
Hate to say it, but I preferred the Beyond Burger patty to the real thing.
Was it an absolute dead ringer for animal protein and hemoglobin? No. But so what? It gave an enjoyable and tasty experience without some beast meeting its end, and food products like this are a viable option for meat products going forward.
I don’t have any problem recommending these burgers, although it could be the case that if you are against additives, etc. you should probably stick to real beef or bean burgers.
Four out of five stars.
Fry ’em up and eat ’em.
7 thoughts on “Taste Test- Beyond Burger”
Interesting. I am a life long vegetarian (50+ years now) – I was brought up that way, and have never eaten meat except by accident a few times. A while back with a group of work colleagues we were grabbing a meal, and the place we went to had beyond burgers as an option, so I tried one. As someone who doesn’t know what the real thing is supposed to taste like, I can’t tell you how close it was, though my workmates thought it was pretty accurate. But I was unimpressed – it seemed pretty bland and tasteless to me.
Maybe I’m used to vege patties that don’t actually try and mimic meat, and was expecting the wrong taste. But it seems like this may appeal more to people who are used to meat already, rather then those who have never really had it. A good vegetarian patty (and you’re right, there are some awful lumps of paste out there) has more texture and taste than I got from these.
Lately we’ve been doing vegetarian nights to reduce our meat consumption. I really like some of the bean burgers out there- but people shouldn’t try to compare them to meat. I guess that’s the beauty of these burgers. They are darn close and will interest people who would otherwise only eat a traditional diet.
Almost everyone I work with is a vegetarian and they tell me the secret to vegetarian cooking is to use one dish. So you cant plan a protein and three veg type meal. It’s worked for me.
The best pork i ever ate was in a vegetarian restaurant in Vietnam. It was textured vegetable protein (whatever that is) rather than pork but I couldn’t tell the difference. If that arrived on every plate I would be real happy.
Wonder where you get that stuff; usually when I think of TVP its the bacon crumbles you get on salads.
I spotted some the other day in an asian supermarket, alongside the canned mushrooms and other stir fry ingredients. It’s good stuff, though I have no idea how close to pork it actually is.
I will have to investigate. Thanks for the tip!