Above and Beyond (Meat)
After hearing praise upon praise for Beyond Meat’s Beyond Burger, I knew I had to taste and see for myself if they lived up to all their hype.
Disclaimer: I know that there are going to be many reading this who are going to think me a defector, a dissident…how on earth can I speak harshly about the now so incredibly beloved Beyond Burger?! Oh, but I must be honest, don’t I? Yes, indeed. So here goes…
I have to tell you, I really tried to like it. I didn’t want to be different from everyone else. I wanted to belong to, be a part of, the symphony of admirers.
It Was a Little Too Real
Sorry, but I NEVER liked meat, particularly any kind of meat that tasted like meat. Now, if it were my Italian Grandma Mary’s meatballs, that would be a different story altogether. But, mainly, because they were so full of garlic and parmesan cheese that it was almost as if the meat was an afterthought, being used as merely the glue to hold it all together before they were immersed in her hearty red gravy that was already simmering with copious amount of Italian hot sausage (thank you to Beyond Meat for your Beyond Sausages…although way too much fat in them, they do deliver on imparting the necessary flavor). But, I’ve digressed here…back to the burger issue.
Since there is currently a ban on any and all fire outside because of the lack of rain here in the Sedona area, outdoor grilling was off the table. So, old school it was in the frying pan. With an abundant amount of fat in the burger, there was no need for any lubrication in the pan. It went into the preheated pan to sear on one side, three minutes later, flipped and seared on the other, with a hunk of Violife cheese adorning the top.
I have to tell you that right off the bat, the smell of what was far-too-reminiscent of a burger cooking wafting throughout the kitchen, much to my dismay. I was not feeling it. My stomach actually did a cartwheel or two being that my home has been a vegan home for many years now. The smell of meat cooking is not one akin to my kitchen. I had to remind myself to stay open-minded.
It Looked Amazing
My plate ready, it actually looked amazingly appealing. The ear of fresh corn on the cob was gifted to me from my Arizona Mom, Cynthia, who had just returned from the local corn farm (worms included inside the husks). The onion rings were courtesy of volunteer onions from my garden, fresh picked. So far, so good, right?
Now for the taste test. That first bite. Oh no! I cringed. It was not appealing to me, not in the least bit (or bite). Not that it didn’t taste like a hamburger, because it did. For me, that is exactly the point and the problem.
As I mentioned earlier, I HATED hamburgers or any other type of meat even before becoming a vegetarian. As a little girl at the dinner table, my parents would try to cajole me into eating my meat, when all I wanted was more of the veggies and starch that was on my plate.
I did, however, finish eating the Beyond Burger as I convinced myself that, maybe, it would be an acquired taste, something like a truffle, which at first is shocking with its earthiness, but soon becomes a craving, at least for me. Unfortunately, I wasn’t buying it, not for even a second.
I Really Tried
After my first go at it, I knew I needed to try again, just to be sure. I did try again the next day, today, in fact. Same response. My mind and my taste buds remain unflinching unchanged.
So, here’s my conclusion on this subject. For people who are omnivores, it is a great, actually fabulous, swap out. For vegetarians/vegans who are committed to their transition but still sometimes miss a hamburger, go for it! You get the taste of a hamburger without harming another sentient being.
But for this has-always-been a meat-abhorring gal, I’ll stick with my beet burgers. It’s my own original recipe, which was the topic of my November 17, 2016 blog . While Richard and I are no longer a couple, the story behind the creation of this delectable burger is still an entertaining one (plus you’ll find the recipe in that blog post as well).