Well, yes and no. I only had a negative control, since it was not a side by side comparison. But in some ways I was the perfect test subject. Bear with me.
I genuinely cannot remember the last time I had a burger. Got to be ten years if it’s a day. I used to like the occasional burger, then I went off meat. Hence no pork, no lamb (I miss that now and then), very occasional chicken, the veggie’s regulation bacon sarnie now and then. But over the weekend I was in somewhere offering a ‘Beyond Burger.’ You know, those vegan creations that are supposed to look, taste, even bleed like real burgers.
I think they’re cheating a bit. Want your food to look as if it’s bleeding? Eat some rare cooked meat and be honest about it. Stop pussyfooting around. But I thought I’d give one a go. And my meal turned up.
Firstly, to all intents and purposes it looked as I remember burgers looking, at least externally. I flipped the lid off the bun. Yes, all looks shipshape and Bristol fashion. Let’s see what happens when I cut it, shall we?
It didn’t bleed. They must have run out of beetroot. I was mildly let down, not because I wanted to eat bloody meat, but the bleeding had been promised.
During the cutting process, I thought to meself, ‘That’s not the texture I recall from burgers. Where’s the wellspring of fat?’ According to the blurb I was entitled to expect moisture just like the real thing. I didn’t get that. Where’s the fun in a burger if you don’t need three napkins to wipe your chin?
Things went to pieces a bit here. The texture looked right (if not as moist as I’d been led to expect,) but the taste? Let’s just say there wasn’t any. Texture like stuffing, and no gustatory pleasure at all. Remember that rather pretentious novel, ‘The impossible lightness of being’? Two women, two men, and a dog in 1968 Czechoslovakia? It needs rewriting. ‘The impossible blandness of veganburgers.’ They weren’t even offensively awful, just tasteless with a dodgy dry texture.
Not worth the effort, and at thirteen quid (including chips and an anaemic salad) a lot more than a Big Mac Value Meal. About twice the price.