Have you heard of Beyond Meat yet? The fake meat product that is so similar to chicken, it’s scary. Mark Bittman tried the product in a blind taste test and couldn’t tell the difference. The taste and texture of Beyond Meat is very similar to chicken. It shreds and looks just like chicken. Give it to a meat eater and they will not know they are eating fake meat.
I’ve had Beyond Meat twice, both from my local Whole Foods. As of now, it’s only available in the prepared food section of select Whole Foods stores. My local Whole Foods sells it in their vegan Sonoma “Chicken” Salad. I imagine that the meat by itself doesn’t have much flavor, just like a plain chicken breast, but when mixed with a sauce or marinade it will taste great and have terrific mouth feel.
I know there is some debate over the use of fake meat products in healthy vegan diets. Sure, no animals suffered for your Gardenburger or Boca Chik’n Nuggets, but let’s be honest, this stuff is processed food. Some seriously more processed than others. That being said, I do think processed fake meat products can be part of a healthy vegan diet when used in moderation. We eat Boca burgers, Lightlife Gimme Lean Sausage or Tofurky lunch meat on occasion, but it’s usually never more than three to four times a month. They can be incredibly convenient when trying to get a quick meal on the table.
There is currently no time table for when Beyond Meat will be available for sale outside of the prepared food case in Whole Foods. I’m sure that I will buy it on occasion when it does become available for purchase. It would be great to use in dishes that would benefit from the texture and shredability of the product. I’m thinking shredded and simmered with our homemade barbecue sauce or a tasty pot pie both sound like delicious options for this revolutionary product.
Next time you’re at Whole Foods, pick up some of the vegan Sonoma “chicken” salad and try Beyond Meat for yourself. Let me know what you think.