Today I tried the "Beyond Burger", a vegan product that purports to be the most beef-like mass-market veggie burger out there.
The Beyond Burger is the flagship product of Beyond Meat, a company aiming to "create mass-market solutions that perfectly replace animal protein with plant protein." They also make chicken strips (which my cousin swears by), beefy crumbles and other meat substitutes.
Straight out of the box, the Beyond Burger does look and feel somewhat alarmingly like raw beef. The smell is not meat-like at all, and a little gross, honestly.
On a hot pan, the burger browns quite nicely, owing to the high fat content (5 grams.) I was careful not to overcook it, searing it for two minutes on each side in a medium-hot pan.
Plated, it does look quite nice, particularly with the grilled onions I prepared ahead of time.
But how does it taste? On the one hand, it would not fool anyone paying attention that it was actually beef. On the other hand, I thought it was totally delicious. The texture was definitely meaty, with a nice fattiness and saltiness. The outside crisps up nicely, while the inside was moist and flavorful. I felt pleasantly full afterwards too.
I would put it in the same general range of the Impossible Burger, which I tried a few months ago. Perhaps even a little better.
Add some cheese or avocado and you've got a fine burger. I would gladly have one fresh off the grill at a barbecue. Here's what a tiny piece of it looks like.
If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint but don't want to give up burgers, I would encourage you to give the Beyond Burger a try. Yeah, it's expensive, but that's the price of saving the planet.
Available at Whole Foods and other retailers around the country. See website for details.