They've been releasing these "burgers" to select stores in a few areas at a time. So for most of the USA, they're still unattainable. Which makes people want them even more. In fact, until a couple weeks ago, they weren't available in my area. And when Whole Foods Co-Op finally got them in, they sold out within hours! There was some confusion, and I was told they actually hadn't even gotten any. But they held a couple packs for me once the next shipment arrived. I froze one pack right away.
The outside of the patty had actually gotten a little crispy. Most of it was pretty firm, while there was just a hint of soft pink "meat" in the center. Did it taste like a real hamburger? After this many years, I couldn't say. But I can say it tasted pretty good.
A day later, I cooked up the other one. I used slightly lower heat this time and it didn't smoke at all. It also had more pinkness in the middle and didn't have that crispy outside like the first one. This time, I added lettuce, tomato slices, and a bit of mayo (in addition to the other toppings I'd used on the first). It was delicious. But there was a moment that creeped me out... My tongue penetrated the pink inner layer, and I got a flash of memory from when I did eat meat - it felt and tasted exactly like the raw hamburger I used to like (gross, I know)!
Nutritionally? 290 calories per patty. The fat content is really high for a veggie "burger" (22g, 5g of which are saturated). And the sodium levels are pretty high too at 450mg (18.75 % dv). But it has 20g protein, 3g fibre, 25% dv of iron, 10% dv of calcium, and a whopping 90% dv of vitamin C! According to the USDA, the same amount of unseasoned ground beef would have 287 calories, 22.6g fat (8.567g saturated), 75mg sodium, 19.37g protein, no fibre, only 2.19mg iron (12.17% dv), 20mg calcium (2% dv), and no vitamin C. Other nutrients found in beef aren't mentioned on the packaging or on the Beyond Meat website, so I can't compare them.
Ingredients for the Beyond Burger are: Pea Protein Isolate, Expeller Pressed Canola Oil, Refined Coconut Oil, Water, Yeast Extract, Maltodextrin, Natural Flavors, Gum Arabic, Sunflower Oil, Salt, Succinic Acid, Acetic Acid, Non-GMO Modified Food Starch, Cellulose From Bamboo, Methylcellulose, Potato Starch, Beet Juice Extract (for color), Ascorbic Acid (to maintain color), Annatto Extract (for color), Citrus Fruit Extract (to maintain quality), Vegetable Glycerin.
The biggest downside to these "burgers" is the cost. There are two in a pack. And at $5.99 a pack (in my area) they are far and away the most expensive veggie "burger". The second-most expensive (Gardein Beefless Burgers) are $5.49 for a 4 pack. And the Gardein taste just as good to me (though they don't have quite the right texture, and they don't have that red "raw meat" look).
Would I buy the Beyond Burger again? If there were a good sale, I had a high-value coupon, or (ideally) both, then yes. Otherwise, probably not. They're really good, but just a bit too pricey for my budget. Still, I would recommend them highly (especially if you're a flexitarian or otherwise trying to eat less meat but aren't 100% Veg*n).
Well, that's it. I do have a few ideas (not reviews, lol) in the works. I hope you enjoyed this review, though.
Until next time....