Update: Beyond Burger will be back in A&W’s starting Oct. 1st!
I’m so happy this is available in Canada now – and it’s all thanks to A&W! If you haven’t heard the news, A&W recently added the Beyond Burger to their menu and Canadians went crazy! The only bad part is that they sold out in a month. While I’m happy it was doing so well, I am a bit worried about the momentum it’ll lose. Beyond Meat set up a newsletter, letting people subscribe to get notified for when the product is back, but I’m worried the initial spark of interest will die and they’ll lose sales. (Not to mention all the would-be buyers they’re missing while trying to get it back in stock) On their site, they do say that this time when it comes back, it’ll be back for good. Let’s hope so.
The first thing I’d like to say, is that you have to order the burger without the mayo/mustard sauce, to make it actually vegan. That sucks, I know – why add a vegan burger if you have to customize it to make it vegan? Once you request that though, it’s smooth sailing.
My initial impression of this, was that it tasted exactly what I remember beef tasting like. Now, it’s been a few years since I’ve eaten meat (3 years in Feb!) and even longer since I ate ‘real’ beef, so my memory of it might not be the best, but it was definitely close – my non-vegan friend tried it and even said the same thing: it tasted so close to beef we thought they might’ve mixed up the order.
Personally, I don’t see myself getting this very often – that’s not to say it’s bad – it has good texture and is definitely filling – it’s just a little too beefy for my taste. I always find it odd when a plant-based food tastes eerily similar to an animal product. I don’t what it is, or why, but it’s just kinda… weird. Give me a mushroom burger that tastes like mushrooms: hell yeah, I’m game! It’s made of plants, I expect it to taste like it. And, yes, I know that meat usually only tastes that way because of the spices (aka plants) that are put on it, but still.
I don’t know if it’s because I watched Earthlings (which I highly recommend, but it’s graphic) and I’m forever gonna associate meat smells/tastes with those images – so much so that during Thanksgiving when my mom cooks the turkey overnight, or my family cooks beef burgers indoors (or any other really ‘smelly’ meat), it physically makes me nauseous. I rewired my brain, I guess, with the smell/flavours association.
I will say though, that after having it a few times (I was able to try it three times before they sold out), it did start tasting less like beef and more like plants. I think perhaps after the initial shock wore off (like my first time eating seitan) my brain was able to pick up the flavours/spices better and I was able to enjoy it more.
If you’re a vegan who misses the taste of beef, I’d definitely recommend you check this out! If you’re more like me, and try to stay away from the products that taste exactly the same, I’d say you’d probably want to stick with the mushroom burgers. But I definitely think you should try it at least once, just to see what all the hype is about. (Also, it’s the only way to buy the Beyond Meat products in Canada)
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