I’ve been a vegetarian for 37 years. Most of my life. In fact, I remember having to eat meat as a kid and having trouble chewing and swallowing it. I just didn’t like it.
Needless to say, becoming vegetarian was a very good choice for me that opened up a whole new world with food that I actually liked.
I tend to eat natural unprocessed food as much as possible. I prefer beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, peas or grains for protein and rarely cook mass produced products that are made to taste like meat.
There are some products that are good on their own, tofu and seitan for example, or my favorite grain sausages by Field Roast. They’re delicious but they’re not trying to taste like meat. Chipotle and Italian are amazing.
Still I’ve been curious about the movement to make vegetarian food that taste like an animal product.
To quote the company #BeyondMeat
“At Beyond Meat, we started with simple questions. Why do you need an animal to create meat? Why can’t you build meat directly from plants? It turns out you can. So we did. We hope our plant-based meats allow you and your family to eat more, not less, of the traditional dishes you love, while feeling great about the health, sustainability, and animal welfare benefits of plant protein. Together, we can truly bring exciting change to the plate — and Beyond.”
I’ve tried their burgers. They look like ground meat patties in the package and cook more or less the same way. You can leave them “bloody” in the middle if you’d like.
They taste like meat as well. Too much for my taste and I find them a bit flavorless.
Their sausage is another story. I bought them for the first time yesterday. I almost didn´t because they look exactly like a grey uncooked soft sausage with skin on them and it’s not enticing to me at all. Still like I said, I was curious.
Another Whole Foods customer and I noticed them at the same time. He already had the Beyond Meat Burgers in his hand, so I asked if he had tried the sausages.
His eyes lit up as he said, “I’ve not, but I sure will tonight!”
I weighed the package in my hand a few times and remembered that my husband said that he had wanted to try something new. He’s not vegetarian but eat mostly vegetarian nowadays.
So, I bought it and went home to cook it. I felt like I was cooking a real sausage (I have done this for people’s children who aren’t vegetarian). It sizzled and got crispy on the outside and looked just like a kind of meat sausage. I was already feeling slightly uncomfortable cooking it.
Still I made two for myself.
First bite…very sausage like, full of flavor. Tasted just like the ones I ate as a kid. Sausage was one of the few items on my limited menu.
At this point I had to leave the table and go look at the packaging. Yes 100% vegetarian, made with pea and fava bean protein.
I went back to the table and finished them. The flavor was good.
Then my husband came home, and I made the other two for him. Tasted just like meat sausage he said. It would pass a blind test too!
This probably is the future of meat. A more ethical, cruelty free, sustainable choice. If you do like meat, then this can certainly be an alternative for you. I’ll eat it on occasion too.