Review: Beyond Meat Brats and Sausage
Seeing as it's almost father's day I'll start this post with a wonderful review of my dad. He's super sweet, always has a kind word or a hug, taught me dive stick when I was 16 which was no easy feat, helps me try and fix anything in my house, encourages any dream I have, and most recently brought a chair down to my house that no longer was working in my brother's living room for me to enjoy.
Knowing he was coming down I insisted that I cook him dinner and luckily, he is good game for such a request. He brought down chips and I brainstormed things to grill in the new heat of late spring. In addition I knew I had a cookout that same week so I figured I'd buy for both.
Tomato Salad. Check.
Burgers? Portobella caps? Beyond burgers? Field Roast burger? Dr. Praeger ain't staying together on that grill that's for sure.
So I peruse the local Whole Foods to see what my stomach might be in the mood for and BAM! Something new I've never tried. Which means I have to try it. So into my basket it goes.
These were eaten in two sessions, one the day before Memorial Day and the other a few days later, both on pretzel buns purchased in the bakery because I'm bougie like that. And if it's brats it's got to be German. So pretzel roll and spicy mustard are a must.
I also tried the Hot Italian sausage so I will include both in the review.
Spoiler to the rest of the review: They're damn good!
- Their texture is almost spot on. They have a casing similar to regular sausage casing that holds together a soft, raw meat texture center. After grilling this casing led to a nice, but not as robust as real, 'snap' when you bite into it. The softer texture fits the Italian sausage better. Brats tend to be a bit firmer than these but when cooked it works great. Seitan based sausages can be a bit mealy or bouncy at times and this sausage was neither. Whatever they're doing with that pea protein isolate (so against all my anti-processing clause) magic is happening.
- Flavor. Both the Brats and the Italian sausage were the closest thing I've had to those flavors apart from the real thing. The brat echoed the slightly sour juicy taste of a real Brat and the Italian sausage crumbled into perfect sausage crumbles for the dish I put it in.
- Low in calories. Like surprisingly. Each sausage has 190 calories, 16 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat and 3 grams of carbohydrates. Admittedly a traditional Brat has about the same amount of calories (196), but the Beyond Sausage has more protein, half the fat, and of course no cholestrol. This is however, 50 less calories than the Italian sausage which works out to the same calories in the veggie version as the Brat.
- Not easy to find. Right now they're only in Whole Foods and a handful of restaurants that I assume are in heavily urban areas. If you're near one of these you win! If not, then I'm sorry I even talked about them... Go back to your nice rural home, enjoy your outside time and imagine that they don't exist.
- Processed. They are non GMO and don't have any truly crazy ingredients, but they clearly use some advanced technology to get it to what it is. I could never make these at home and that's my process bar. If I can't make it from scratch, I probably shouldn't buy it on the regular.
Should I try it?
Final verdict: TOTALLY.
Stars (out of 4): ****
If you don't really care about processed foods but are into eating more sustainably, are trying to get away from meat or don't eat meat, or maybe are Catholic on a Friday in Lent, these are totally worth a try. They're delicious, easy to cook with, and are very very similar to their animal counter part.