Fake meat—a term we lovingly apply to plant-based substitutes for beef, pork, and chicken products—is a growing presence in many people’s everyday lives, but at the moment, I’d venture a guess that we all still consider it something of a novelty. Even though we’ve cooked with it in my house nearly a dozen times, Beyond and Impossible don’t make the cut on our regular grocery list (too expensive), and while I hope to have the vegan Italian Beefless from Buona again soon, I’d do well not to make a habit of any kind of massive beef sandwich, plant-based or otherwise. Still, when I think of these alternative sources of protein, I think of them fondly.
Has there been a plant-based product or meal that has absolutely blown you away? Any particular instance where you thought, wow, they just might be able to pull this thing off? We’d love to hear of any pleasant surprises you’ve experienced with this stuff. Because we’re increasingly certain that it’s not going away anytime soon, and while no one should be forced to embrace it, it’s fun to swap stories where fake meat defied expectations. Ten or fifteen years ago, as we nibbled into sad, dry veggie patties, we probably couldn’t have imagined that the quality of mass-produced meat-free cuisine would improve by such leaps and bounds. Is it so unreasonable to think that it’s only going to get better from here?