Rachel Eats Stuff: The UK's first meatless 'bleeding' burger
Would it actually resemble meat?
As pleasant as a good veggie burger can be, any carnivore will agree that the vast majority aren’t really anything like meat. They tend to be dry and crumbly.
This, however, is changing.
Scientists, engineers, chefs, farmers and foodies have in recent years been working together to make foods from plants that taste like meat.
There’s the so-called Impossible burger amongst other brands in the US, and now British company Moving Mountains has teamed up with vegetarian and vegan restaurant Mildreds, in London, to launch the B12 burger, otherwise known as the “raw ‘bleeding’ burger”.
It’s called “bleeding” because when perfectly cooked, it should bleed through the middle - but with beetroot juice rather than animal blood.
The B12 burger has been developed to replicate animal meat using solely plant-based ingredients - it’s not really being targeted at veggies, but meat eaters. And the idea is that it’s a lot more environmentally friendly than a regular burger.
The patty has been made using peas, potatoes, wheat and soy proteins, beetroot juice to make the burger ‘bleed’, coconut oil, vitamin B12 and an oyster mushroom base. But, Moving Mountains founder Simeon Van Der Molden tells me, the recipe is secret.
With 20g of protein per serving, the B12 burger rivals a classic beef patty in the muscle-building stakes too.
Launching for an initial three months on Saturday 24 February at Mildreds’ Dalston branch, the burger is served in a toasted bun and also comes with lettuce, onion, tomatoes, Mildreds’ signature vegan basil mayo, tomato relish and your choice of side, priced at £10.
But it’ll only be available at lunchtimes from 12-2pm and on a first come first served basis.
The most important question is though: how does it taste?
As a meat-eater and burger-lover, I was sceptical. How could something that is 100 per cent raw plant meat possibly resemble a real burger?
Inspecting my burger on the plate, it certainly looked like a regular one - it was thick and even. It smelled pretty meaty too.
It was time for the moment of truth though - the taste.
Reader, it was delicious. The burger was far from bland and really very flavoursome - the taste was meaty, but I couldn’t say which meat in particular it resembled. Generic meat, if you will.
It wasn’t exactly juicy, but it was moist, and thus a far cry from dry bean burgers.
The texture was a little squishier than meat, but I actually liked that it didn’t have the fatty gristle of a regular burger.
If you’d told me it was meat, I might just have believed you. Even though I’d have thought it was a slightly odd meat.
The burger was a lot more satisfying than a standard veggie patty and I, a big meaty burger lover, would 100 per cent eat it again. Just maybe with a slice of cheese and a rasher of bacon on top.