Beast Burger

I read an article about the Beast Burger a few months ago. This is a vegetarian hamburger made by California based company Beyond Meat.

More protein than beef. More omegas than salmon. Tons of calcium, antioxidants, and vitamin B.

Most importantly, it’s supposed to look, taste – and the hard one – have the texture of a real hamburger.  So is it true? The MKX® set out to find out.

Unsurprisingly, Whole Foods was the only place where I found it. It comes in a box in the frozen section. Two patties for $6, which seems pretty expensive to me, but what do I know.

While there, I also bought the only  hamburger buns they had. They were whole wheat, organic, small, dry, overpriced, and nasty. This means that the Beast Burger would be at a disadvantage in the taste tests. I wasn’t about to go to HEB for normal hamburger buns though. To round it out, I got overpriced organic tomatoes and lettuce, both looked great.

Beast Burger packaging. That photo looks amazing, doesn’t it?

So for the taste test I invited three participants.

  1. Eli: Lifelong vegetarian, hasn’t eaten a hamburger ever.
  2. Nira: vegetarian since 2000, hasn’t had a hamburger in five years.
  3. Shlomit: vegetarian since that morning, hadn’t had a hamburger in five days.

While the instructions on the box say you can do this on a pan, I had to do it right and fired off the grill for the first time since last year.

This is what it looked like:

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Beast Burger on the grill

 

The weird looking things in the back are portobello mushrooms, in case the experiment is a failure. I was not brave enough to face hungry blood-lusting vegetarians.

You can see the four patties. The one on the left still has ice on it – you are supposed to put them on the grill still frozen. They do look like convincing hamburgers and for this they get a point. Notice those beautiful grill lines on them. I take no credit for them: that’s how it came out of the box. To me that’s cheating and for all I know they use dye to paint them.

After a few minutes on the grill I served the hamburgers. Here’s Eli and Shlomit enjoying them:

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The best hamburger Eli has never had.

 

This is what they had to say:

  1. Eli: I have no idea if this is what a hamburger should taste like, but it’s good.
  2. Nira: It’s good.
  3. Shlomit: I want a real hamburger.

It was so good that I still have four frozen patties in my freezer and no plans to eat them anytime soon.

But really:

  • The texture was pretty convincing.
  • The taste was a little bit bland, needed more spices and maybe salt.
  • It was a pretty small burger.
  • Better buns would have helped.

I think that if you aren’t vegetarian, you shouldn’t approach this as “will taste like a hamburger” or you will be disappointed. You should think of it it the way I think about Tex-Mex (don’t expect Mexican), or soy milk (don’t expect milk), or transvestites (no further comment). If you do this, I think the Beast Burger is a pretty decent non-meat meal and my cholesterol thanks me for it.

That said, any man with instinct for self-preservation knows that when hungry nursing woman says, “I want a real hamburger,” you must deliver.

So here’s the real beast of a burger: Roaring Fork’s famous and also overpriced $14 1 pound of real cow “Big Ass Burger”:

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Mine is the “Big Ass”, Shlomit’s is a “Half Ass”. After my morning training for the Cap 10K I had the hunger of a beast. It’s been 23 hours, I’ve been to the potty three times, and I’m still full.

 

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