Test Drive: The Beyond Burger

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

  [Please consider supporting Food and Farm Discussion Lab with an  ongoing contribution of $1, $2, $3, $5 or $10 a month on Patreon. All contributors receive a subscription to our email newsletter the FAFDL Dispatch. Or you can make a one time donation via PayPal. ]

Marc Brazeau | Editor | Food and Farm Discussion Lab | @eatcookwrite


Last night I finally got around to trying Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, one of the more promising entrants to the Plant Meat 2.0 scrum of products trying to compete outside of the vegetarian market niche. I have to say, it makes a pretty good hamburger.

Yuck!

Last week I tried their Grilled Chicken(free) Strips and I was pretty underwhelmed. They are pricey and when my room mate found the kung pao I made he thought it was tofu kung pao. In fact, I like my tofu kung pao made with my patented (world famous) roasted tofu a lot better. Their protein strips are expensive and mediocre, not exactly positioned to convert committed carnivores to a more reducetarian set of eating habits.

But the Beyond Burger did not disappoint. It looks, tastes and eats like a hamburger. Maybe not the big juicy medium rare Black Angus burger I treat myself to a few times a year, but it was a lot better than anything I’ve had from McDonald’s or Burger King – not high bar, I know, but as good as your average family picnic medium quarter pound burger.

Trying out the Beyond Burger

The raw patties are a little more crumbly than ground beef and they are oily right out of the package. The ingredient list is mostly different fats bolstering the pea protein – expeller pressed canola oil, refined coconut oil, and sunflower oil, along with various starch binders. Nothing particularly alarming for the syllable-phobic.

The cooked product is not greasy though, it’s nice and moist. It looks like a hamburger with a nice pink if you don’t overcook it, though I’d say the texture is closer to a turkey burger. If you laid these out in a spread, cooked and dressed, I doubt many carnivores would notice that they weren’t scarfing down real beef.

I got into the spirit of things and topped mine with some almond cheese.

Beyond Burger reviewBeyond Burger review

At $5.99 for two 4 ounce patties, I can’t justify buying these regularly, but I’m on a tight budget. Coming in just an 8oz package of two patties, these are clearly marketed towards affluent households of one or two adults, and the price will be well within reason for those folks. Still, at my neighborhood market one pound of 97/3 ground beef is $5.99 or double the price (80/20 was $4.29).

If the point of this new wave of plant meats is to break out of the vegetarian niche and give everyone an option to reduce beef consumption, the price is going to have to come way down. In fact, it’s hard to see why the price of ground pea protein should be higher than ground beef, other than the fact that the current marketing niche for these products is willing to pay at this price point. Reaching a mass market, is going to require a price that’s competitive with the beef it’s meant to replace.

At twelve bucks a pound, I’m hard pressed to switch from my homemade lentil burgers which are more flavorful than the average hamburger to begin with.

Beyond Burger review

A Good Meal for Carnivores and Vegetarians to Share

Still, in addition to vegetarians craving the burgers of their youth, these are a great option if you are doing a family-style picnic/bbq and you don’t want to leave out vegetarians. It’s also a great meal for vegetarians entertaining carnivores whom you would never inflict a Tofurkey roast on.

The real break through here is when one of these Plant Meat 2.0 burgers makes it onto the McDonald’s dollar menu. That still seems a few weeks out at best.


  [Please consider supporting Food and Farm Discussion Lab with an  ongoing contribution of $1, $2, $3, $5 or $10 a month on Patreon. All contributors receive a subscription to our email newsletter the FAFDL Dispatch. Or you can make a one time donation via PayPal. ]

Print

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Please consider supporting FAFDL.org by ongoing contribution of $1, $2, $3, $5 or $10 a month on Patreon.