Though I am not a proponent of vegetarianism, I find technological advances of any kind to be very interesting. The latest advancement in food tech brings us a mixture of soy, pea and protein isolates (among other ingredients) that tastes like Chicken.
What makes the product particularly amazing, however, is not that it tastes like chicken, rather that it feels like chicken.
Meat substitutes have long suffered from a lack of appetizing texture. Substitutes made out of tofu, for example, come nowhere close to the mouth-feel of a good ol’ fashioned piece of meat. Beyond Meat is now making the texture problem a thing of the past.
Though I cannot personally vouch for the fake meat, according to Alton Brown, a chef and host on the Food Network, the new product is pretty impressive. Alton Brown has this to say about it:
I tear it and watch the break, the way the material separates. It’s more like meat than anything I’ve ever seen that wasn’t meat. Looking closely I can see a repeating pattern, like a subtle honeycomb, that reminds me a bit of tripe. I close my eyes and smell, but since the strip hasn’t received any flavoring at this point, I detect only subtle hints of soy.
I take a bite. While the unflavored product tastes distinctly vegetal and still has a bit of what I’d call tofu-bounce, a hint of the spongy, the tear is … meaty.
The new food product comes to us from Beyond Meat, based out of Missouri, where they utilize specialized machinery to fold vegetarian ingredients in a unique way to produce the meat-like texture and given the rise in vegetarianism, particularly in California, the product will be a sure-hit (assuming they can keep the price within reason, though vegetarians are probably used to paying a premium for good meat substitutes).
A call out to meat-eaters and vegetarians: what do you think about this new fake chicken?