It’s arrival has been foretold for months. It’s been touted on the news as the “vegan burger that bleeds” and would be sold in the meat aisle next to beef pattys. It’s been tasted on You Tube by fortunate Vloggers who gained early access. It’s release began on the West Coast, naturally, and has been slowly spreading Eastward, only heightening anticipation of it’s arrival.
And now it has finally made it’s way to Texas.
All of the news reports and reviews have thus far hailed it as the most realistic vegan burger to ever hit the market. It cooks up from “raw” just like a beef patty, with a similar look and cook time versus it’s frozen predecessors that look more akin to hockey pucks hitting the grill with a fresh layer of icy frost than a realistic ground meat patty.
While even before my transition to a plant-based diet I was never a big meat eater, Husband has been itching to get his hands on the Beyond Burger since I showed him an article about it over a year ago. A realistic plant-based burger with NO cholesterol, 20 grams of protein, and no animal hormones? Done, done, and done! So when I came across the brand new Beyond Burger display in Whole Foods the other evening, I jumped at the chance to give them a try. I texted Husband a quick picture of our two youngest holding their bounty and we planned a cookout for Saturday evening.
Little did we know that fate was already plotting against us.
Saturday arrived and it was a cold and gloomy day. A light rain was in the forecast, but being seasoned Cal-Texans, we didn’t let it deter our plans. Around 5 pm, Husband went outside to light the grill just as I placed a batch of oil-free fries in the oven. We knew if we timed it right, all the food would be ready at the same time. As he placed the burger patties on the grill he marveled at the sizzle they produced.
He came back in to grab a jacket, unprepared for the chill in the air. “They are cooking up just like beef burgers.” He said. I smiled and nodded, turning back to slicing tomatoes and preparing all of the other burger toppings.
Husband’s next check in was not as cheery.
Because of the rain and the cold wind, the flame on the grill kept blowing, leaving the temperature of the grill unacceptably low. Quickly trying to remedy the situation, Husband turned the heat up to high on the grill and closed the lid. Within a minute, the patties were burnt to a crisp yet uncooked on the inside.
“Definitely like beef” he muttered to himself turning the grill lower as he used his body to shield the flame from the chilly wind.
Once the burgers had reached an internal temp of 165 (as recommended on the packaging), Husband brought back in a plate full of charred patties with a look of defeat. As he relayed his experience to me, 3 hungry children heard the timer on the oven for the fries and obediently washed their hands and came to the table for dinner.
“I’m sure they’re fine.” I consoled Husband. “We can just scrape off the burnt parts if we need to.”
We plated up the burnt burgers and I watched eagerly as Husband took his first bite. I studied his face as he thoughtfully chewed, waiting for his analysis. “Honestly, even though the outside is burnt, I wouldn’t know that this isn’t beef if you didn’t tell me. The texture and flavor are spot on.”
The kids all took their first few bites and agreed that it tasted just like the beef burgers they remembered from our former meat-eating days. I took one small bite of Husband’s burger, concluding that it tasted TOO MUCH like beef and happily ate my black bean burger that had been burnt alongside all of the others.
Dinner was going along well, until the middle child complained that it was “too burnt” to be eaten. Husband offered to cut off the burnt parts of his patty and took it to the cutting board on the back counter.
“OH SHOOT!!!” He shouted as he ran to the sink, left hand forcibly pinched with his right.
As I ran back to the sink, I could see a fresh surge of blood mixing with the cold running water streaming off of Husband’s thumb. In trying to cut off the burnt exterior of our son’s burger, he had sliced about 1/2” into his thumb with the very sharp kitchen knife that I typically use. I coaxed him to wash the cut with some soap and leave it under the running water and went over to finish cutting the burger for our son.
As I turned from the counter toward the table, I tripped over the dog who had been patiently waiting under my feet hoping for a scrap to fall his way. His wish was granted as I lost grip of the cutting board, sending the burger, burnt exterior and all, tumbling down to the floor. He greedily gobbled it up, leaving wet tongue marks on my freshly mopped wood floors.
“It’s ok mom.” My son laughed. “There wasn’t much left anyway.”
I decided to leave the dog to cleaning up the now crumbled burger and turn my attention back to Husband. I fetched the Super Glue from the cabinet that I keep around for the kitchen cuts that I inevitably inflict on myself and tried to open the lid which had become, ironically, glued to the metal tube, leaving me no choice but to cut open the end to extract the glue.
As I helped Husband apply a thin layer of glue to his now clean, dry cut to seal it closed, I realized that the now open tube of glue had attached itself to my middle finger. I tried to quickly remove it before the glue had a chance to dry, but I was in no such luck.
“Not again.” Husband said to me, stifling a chuckle. You see, not a month earlier, I had glued a different bottle of glue to my hand trying to repair a small toy that one of the children had brought tearfully to me in pieces. Leaning over the kitchen sink, each clutching an injured hand, Husband and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. The kids all ran over to see what was so funny and similarly began to giggle as I held up my right hand with the small tube of glue firmly secured to my middle finger.
“You can’t make this stuff up” Husband said as he kissed me on the forehead.
“No, you really can’t” I laughed as I shook my head.
So dinner ended with the kids watching a movie, husband mopping the dog’s tongue prints off of the floor, and me soaking my hand in warm salted water to dissolve the glue.
The burgers, though burnt, were a success. Even though they are processed and not oil free, they will be had again at our house the next time we feel like having a cook out.
Preferably on a sunny day with plenty of plastic knives on hand, just in case.
Full disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was not compensated in any way to write this post. I purchased the Beyond Burgers with my own money at my local Whole Foods. All views and opinions expressed are my (and my family’s) own. I am not a doctor or medical professional of any kind. I have been using Super Glue for years to seal small cuts on my fingers to keep them closed so that they will heal. Please consult your doctor before trying this as home, and don’t tell him you heard it from me, ok?