Meat eater reviews. Faux meat.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Area' started by Kframe, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    So, all this global warming stuff has made me curious about fake meat. I have tried TVP and what not before and hated it.. Just so bland, and the texture is nothing like meat..

    Well, I read a review about Beyond meat Burger, saying it is so close to real, and it has amazing taste. So I head to the store to pick It up and give it a try. Sadly when I get there, they have half the product line but no burger..

    So I pick up a bag of there Beyond grilled chicken and a bag of their Feisty ground beef. I have not eaten the beef yet.

    Here is the Nutrient information. Servings per bag, 3. Bag size 9oz. (at. $3.99 this is not cost effective compared to $1.99 a lb for chicken breast.)

    120 calories per serving.
    3g Fats, 0 sat fats, does not list the others.
    0 cholesterol.
    Sodium. 350mg per serving.
    Carbs. 5g
    dietary fiber. 2g.
    Protein. 20g.
    Calcium 6%
    Iron 15%

    Ingredients. Water,Soy protein isolate, pea protein isolate, chicken flavor.(Yeast extract, maltodextrin, natural flavoring, salt, sunflower oil, citric acid)
    Rice flour, expeller pressed canola oil, soy fiber, carrot fiber, .5% or less white vinegar, spices, salt, sugar, molasses powder, dipotassium phosphate, titanium dioxide(for color) potassium chloride, paprika.

    So here I sit with a cooked up portion of the grilled chicken.

    Right off the bat they got 2 things right and wrong. Firstly, they got the look of the strips perfect. They look identical to grilled chicken. But the first thing they got wrong was the smell. It was a musty kind of smell, nothing like the baked skinless boneless chicken breast I had near me. It was not a strong smell, but it was noticeable. In fact you can't miss it.

    They also did not manage to get the texture/feel of the food correct. Mouth feel especially is wrong. It is too soft. My chicken breast chunks that I made, were "denser" feeling, while these Beyond chickens felt like they were at least 50% less dense. They were far squishier then real chicken. All in all, they felt, both on the finger and in the mouth nothing like chicken.

    Now the important part. Taste. This was a unsurprising letdown. The package says they added chicken flavor but I tasted none. Taste was nothing like the real chicken chunks I compared it to. It had a vague "Planty and Earthy" taste to it. Its hard to describe the taste of a boneless skinless baked chicken breast, so I will let you use your head for that. But the taste was not right with this fake meat. Combine the strange taste, with the wrong texture and mouth feel, and it had a negative impact on the taste and perception of it.

    The smell left me with the initial feeling of, "this smells unappetizing." Sadly the taste made that feeling all the worse.

    Now before I get accused of going in with a bias, you would be correct. I went in expecting to love it. I love good food regardless of where it comes from. I was really really hoping to try the companies Beyond Burger, which sadly was not there. I really am trying to give non meat proteins there fair shake. All I care about is smell and taste, it has to taste good and not smell like moldy earth. I asked my Autistic Son to try it. From across the room, he goes, "No." I asked him why, and he simply says, Delete repeated word smells gross." Like many kids on the spectrum he has very sensitive senses. My wife is also on the spectrum, and she hated it as well, both smell and taste. She said it tasted like it was not seasoned, and that it to her tasted like Unseasoned Ground Turkey. Which in her words, "Always needs a little help."

    So, I am going to wait till dinner time, and try again with the Ground Feisty Beyond Beef. I hope it is the same beef as they use same meat they use in their very popular burger. I also hope that the burger shows up at Meijers soon.

    If I had to choose between this fake meat, and just getting my protein from normal sources, ie beans and cottage cheese and other vegan places, then I would never eat this.

    Any suggestions for other non meat alternatives that will taste amazing? I am also looking forward to Impossible foods burgers as well, but that is years away.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  2. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    As a carnivore who grew up with veggy parents (my mother was a carrot and my dad is half turnip). I have to say you are unlikely to find anything that is a true replacement for meat in the sense that it acts as an accurate and satisfactory facsimile of the original product.

    I find it better to treat meat replacement products as their own things entirely. For example I really like Quorn ham slices and bacon rashers in sandwiches... they are decidedly unlike either ham or bacon but I sometimes banker for them in their own right. If I wanted a bacon sandwich then that's what I'd have to have. Same with burgers really. Some frozen soya brands are about the same as a frozen meat burger when well done, but they never will compare to a juicy quarter pounder.
  3. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    I agree. I was just going based on all the reviews, with some vegans saying they cried when they first tasted it. Referring to the Burger that is.

    I fully agree that they should be treated as their own thing, but I am sure you agree that in this regard, this product fails. It tasted horrid, like moldy earth, not to mention the smell.

    I will be testing the hamburger crumble tonight.

    I honestly can't wait for test tube meat, real meat grown from a dish.
  4. Knee Rider

    Knee Rider Valued Member Supporter

    Yeah it sounds gross.

    To be honest I find meat substitute very hit and miss even as a thing in its own right.

    I don't think we have the brand you tried in the UK but I'd give the burgers whirl if we did.
  5. Kframe

    Kframe Valued Member

    LOL it was the burger I went to the store for. The Beyond website said it was sold there, and when I got there, they had no idea what I was talking about..

    I agree so many are hit and miss, that I wonder what the point is? I mean, look at Tofu and TVP. Chicken/Beef/Pork TVP has no taste, and a strange texture. Not to mention the estrogen... Same with Tofu, no taste. When I go to Flat Top grill, I get tofu in my bowl when I make it. Plenty of spicy, savory sauces, yet it never tastes like the sauces or the other stuff. Just this wad of nothingness in my mouth.

    I have only had quorn once, but I did like it. Not claiming to be a meat replacement, but he we are quorn but look like nuggets or what ever.
  6. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    I think Beyond Meat products are available in a few health food shops on the continent ( Germany at least I think). I read about Beyond Meat a few years ago and inquired about selling the products here in the UK. The company rep told me that they were concentrating on developing the US market before considering going to the UK/Europe. They pointed me towards the European health food stores.

    Quorn, well lets say that processed fungal mycelium are ok in themselves but they don't taste like meat to me either.

    I have a daughter who is a vegetarian so I am interested in seeing what there is available to give her when she comes to my home.

    Oh, I tried all sorts of Buddhist vegetarian treats when in Asia. I actually enjoyed eating wheat gluten shapes and tempeh (fermented bean curd). Odd that these sorts of treats are not seen that much over here.

  7. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Tell us about TVP please. How is it sold, prepared etc


  8. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    I'm a vegan myself (became one early this year), lets be honest, fake meat will never taste like meat. Vegan cheese is the same (man, the let down I experienced when I tried vegan cheese...).

    I mean these products generally taste fine in their own right (some taste worse than others - like TVP), but they will never replace the products they are trying to substitute.

    I also think about the message they are trying to sell as well to omnivores that want to include more plant based products into their diets, I mean come on, vegan chicken nuggets? vegan fish fingers? etc. Who are they trying to kid? Drop the animal product names from the packaging. Soy nuggets or Soy fingers etc. is fine otherwise people are buying into product expecting that it will taste the same as chicken, fish, beef etc. and end up feeling duped. I dunno know, its a pet peeve of mine.
  9. Hapuka

    Hapuka Te Aho

    There's no need to worry of the estrogen (phytoestrogens) in plant foods such as soy. There is a misconception that's been been going on for a while, more or less the result of pop nutrition. Phytoestrogens have been shown in studies to help combat against certain cancers such as prostate and breast cancer. I wouldn't eat a diet based on soy protein (ditch the soy protein powder), too much of a good thing can also have the opposite effects. But eating a block of grilled tofu or switching out cows milk for soy milk made from whole beans isn't going to turn you into a woman.

    Unbiased research paper here

    Tofu on its own it pretty bland, but there are some good recipes out there on how to improve its flavor (the vegan zombie on youtube).
  10. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I was vegetarian for a number of years, and I've lived with vegetarians since. I'm of the opinion that vegetarian meals always taste better when you leave the meat substitutes out. Vegetables are delicious, processed vegetable or fungal protein is not.

    Tofu/bean curd can be absolutely delicious in its own right, but for some reason the stuff they market to veggies is disgusting and rubbery. Have fried bean curd at a Chinese restaurant or buy it from a Chinese supermarket and it is lush. Gert lush.

    When it comes to burgers, I'd much rather have a spicy bean burger than fake meat. Fake bacon and chicken is the worst, just gimme veg!

    The only time I don't mind a meat substitute is in place of beef mince. Then I don't care if it's Soya, TVP or Quorn. You just have to make sure it soaks up lots of flavour (and begin by frying it with the vegetables after sweating the onions/carrots what have you, don't add it after you've added the liquid). There are lots of ways to make it taste more meaty too; yeast extract, anything veggie that is similar to Worcester Sauce, Bovril (which is veggie now).

    TVP has the edge for me because if you have a scoop shop near you it is dirt cheap.
  11. ned

    ned Valued Member

    I am inferring from this that you're motivation for trying meat substitutes comes from environmental rather than vegetarian belief ( not that the two aren't necessarily mutually held concerns ) i.e , a wasteful use of resources in raising livestock vs growing crops.

    TVP , soya etc. will always be a poor substitute for meat,
    in terms of texture and flavour . I agree with DH ; better to celebrate the vegetables in their own right and be inventive with new tastes.
    I'm not veggie(although have been many years ago) but my approach is less frequent reliance on meat but better quality and sourced locally.
    You can also use the bones for stock to flavour your lentils, rices etc.
    The meat substitutes also seem to be full of the same crap as a lot of other processed foods - fresh food from scratch will always taste better and be more beneficial health wise.
  12. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    Yeah, I don't eat meat every day, never been interested in meat substitutes.
  13. Mushroom

    Mushroom De-powered to come back better than before.

    Oh my God...vegan cheese. I went to a health nutrition show and someone was flogging that. It tasted like sour wotsits and sandpaper. Never again, and I'm the kind of person who eats everything. (Just look at my instagram).

    As someone mentioned, veggie meat will never taste like meat due to the smell and texture and sweet sweet juicyness you get from chewing that beautifully grilled/fried, marinated, saliva inducing meat.

    However, Chinese veg meat I found nice. Its mostly about the sauce and prep though. I like tofu.
    MaPo Tofu is especially nice, with the pickle and peas with a good hit of spice. (Mince meat is optional)
    Tofu by itself is not to taste anything but it tends to be a good filler (like potato and rice)

    Have to say vegetarian food has increased in quality, taste and design for the better since my younger days where it was essentially steamed or stir fried veg + sauce.
  14. raaeoh

    raaeoh never tell me the odds

    My meat replacement is basicly beans. In tacos, and pasta dishes. I recently made potato tacos! Kids went nuts!!!! yet to have a good anti meat product. But I hear anti matter exists. So there is hope
  15. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    as someone that's recently gone vegan, i wish people would just let go of fake meat. i eat tempeh, i eat seitan. but i make neither taste like meat. i also haven't tried fake cheese, although i do enjoy almond milk and soy milk for my morning lattes.
  16. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Oatly do a good milk for coffee but I don't know what it is called in English. But there's a few types basically and one is for lattes etc.

    It must be the grey one (Foamable) in the picture below (It's Swedish and the text and name is all different here, but colour the same). It's creamy, a little nutty and doesn't split like soy. My GF uses it in her vegan / veggie restaurant. They actually do the best vegan burgers (chick peas) I have ever eaten and I'm not just saying it 'cause it's my GF's place, they are excellent.

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
  17. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    I think it's incredibly stupid that a large number of people who don't want to eat meat are obsessed with play acting at doing that very thing.

    I commend you on your behaviour Giovanni.
  18. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    I think you miss the point of why many people go vegan or has nothing to do with the taste of meat. Just a hint, yknow.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2016
  19. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    i'm guessing that it is to somehow make "vegan" more palatable to meat eaters.

    there are so many more things to worry about. like: am i getting enough b12, protein, fat, calcium?

    as someone that does bjj while being vegan, these are all huge concerns.
  20. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    I didn't say it did. But I consider it as hypocritical as a pacifist taking part in war games. You're doing as close a facsimile as you can manage of the thing you claim to be against.

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