What Did this Plant-Based Jerky Taste Like?
For a long time there have been options for burgers not made of meat. Soy burgers and other plant-based patties were products that a vegan could eat guilt free. These early attempts were never quite there in the texture and the way they cooked.
Then Beyond Meat came around in 2009. This company created plant-based meat that claimed to cook and taste like the animal versions. Beyond Meat has been featured in many fast-food places and they offer all kinds of versions of their meats that replicate beef, chicken and pork.
I haven’t tried any of these products, not out of some predisposed prejudice, just lack of curiosity. But recently, I was given Beyond Meat Jerky. The package says it is plant based, slow roasted and kettle cooked. I thought I would try it and give my honest and unbiased opinion.
I removed a piece about the size of a quarter from the bag. It looked somewhat like jerky with a similar texture, although a little lighter in color and looser in consistency. I popped this piece in my mouth and began to chew.
At first there was an infusion of flavor that tasted somewhat like pepper and the tang of jerky. This was followed by a foul, slightly rotted taste. The jerky soon broke down into a soggy grainy feel as I swallowed it. The texture reminded me of cleaning out the goat barn as a kid.
When I was young, we had goats and we had to periodically take pitch forks and clean the hay and refuse from the barn. This had become wet and compacted over the year from feces and goat urine. The hay being drenched and walked on, had rotted into a soft mulchy consistency. This is what the Beyond Meat Jerky smelled and looked like.
I immediately drank some water, but the foulness was only dampened. I felt like taking a knife and scraping my tongue free of any remaining fibers. I felt contaminated by the putrid taste and the rotten smell clung to my fingers. I desperately sought to purge my skin and mouth from the smell of organic matter. Even after brushing and flossing my teeth to weed out any possible fibers, I still burped up the foul taste for hours afterwards.
There are so many tasty products available that never get to grocery market shelves, it makes me wonder how this product ever made it to consumers. Did they test market it? Were those who tried it devoid of any taste buds? Did someone package something from the goat barn by mistake?
Anyway, after trying Beyond Meat jerky, suffice it to say, I didn’t really like it.