A burger that goes Beyond
When I tasted the Beyond Burger at a friend’s 30th birthday bash at a restaurant on Durban’s trendy Florida Road, my taste buds went into overdrive.
The flavours transported me back to my childhood, when I would indulge in hearty beef burgers with crispy fries with my relatives.
The Beyond Burger from the company Beyond Meat is the world’s first plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies like beef without GMOs, soy, or gluten.
After a few mouthfuls, my initial guilt (I am now a vegetarian) turned into pure bliss simply because I was able to enjoy the taste of a “real beef burger” without having to worry about any negative health issues or harming animals.
The Beyond Burger, although quite expensive compared with other vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, is the ideal way to push people to consume less meat.
Many businesses have taken full advantage of it with some restaurants introducing it to their menus. South African restaurant owners all agree that the introduction of a plant-based product that tastes and looks like meat is a welcome addition to their menu.
Claire du Preez, the owner of Honest Food in Randburg, said a non-vegan customer ordered the Beyond Burger almost every day. She said the introduction of a plant-based meat burger had been a great medium to showcase to meateaters that you need not consume meat to enjoy its taste.
“We introduced the burger to our menu last May to offer our customers something new and innovative for them to try. “Our initial reception for the new addition was well received. Many people were excited to try it,” she said.
Du Preez said the restaurant had since reached an enormous non-vegan clientele. Sasha Zambetti, the head chef at Kaylee’s Eatery in Johannesburg, said the eatery introduced the Beyond Burger due to popular demand.
The restaurant serves two types, and is redesigning its menu to offer other meat alternative items. Kate Baker, the manager at The Red Herring Restaurant in Noordhoek in Cape Town, said the restaurant introduced the burger to the menu over a year ago.
She said that the restaurant had seen a trend with meat-eaters now opting for vegetarian meat alternatives. “The Beyond Burger brand became popular very quickly, and many of our customers still compliment it,” she said. Hudson’s The Burger Joint, which has branches in Johannesburg and Cape Town, introduced two different Beyond patties last year.
The Beyond Specs
According to the Beyond Meat website, the Beyond Burger offers all the “juicy, meaty deliciousness of a traditional burger, but comes with the upsides of a plant-based meal”.
The Washington Post reported that Beyond Meat reformulated its Beyond Burger to look meatier. It added a “marbling” effect to emulate the fat in traditional burgers.
What Beyond Meat said of the changes: “In service of our rapid and relentless approach to innovation, we are constantly adjusting and updating our products as we work to make them completely indistinguishable from their animal-protein equivalents.
“This is our next step forward in perfectly building meat directly from plants. “The new, meatier Beyond Burger features a combination of pea, mung bean, and rice to deliver a complete protein, meatier taste and texture that mimics the chew and juiciness of beef, a more neutral flavour and aroma profile that’s closer to beef, and a simplified ingredient list.”