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Meatless meat burger ketchups to Calgary vegan scene

Beyond Meat claims to be nearly identical to a real meat patty

Karan Seth tastes one of his Beyond Meat burgers at the Street Eatery - one of the first places to take a chance on the vegan burger that claims to taste almost the same as beef.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

Karan Seth tastes one of his Beyond Meat burgers at the Street Eatery - one of the first places to take a chance on the vegan burger that claims to taste almost the same as beef.

No cows were harmed in the making of this beef patty.

Well, technically it’s not a beef patty at all, but the Beyond Beef burger, claims to look and taste so close to a beef patty that you won’t be able to tell the difference.

It’s not just major grocery chains in Canada, but some Calgary restaurants have been importing it since last year, and say it’s a big indicator of how rapidly Calgary’s vegan movement is growing.

The Street Eatery on 4 Ave SW was one of the first restaurants in the province to import the vegan burgers last summer. Owner Karan Seth said they sold about 180 patties in the first week, and have seen no signs of slowing down since.

Aaron Chatha / Metro

The Patty

Instead of soy or tofu, the Beyond Meat burger uses a pea protein to imitate meat. Then, they put a bit of beet juice in the middle, so the burger appears to bleed and may even retain a pink line through the middle after being cooked. This gives it the texture of a real burger, and coconut oil and potato starch added for taste.

The company is gaining popularity in the U.S., with celebrities like Bill Gates and Leonardo DiCaprio counted among its investors.

While your mileage may vary, a few Metro reporters tried a patty, and we can say it’s patty darn close to a real burger.

The Impact

“We actually had a lady a couple of weeks ago, she ordered the burger, and she actually came running back to the store after having a few bites saying, ‘I think you guys actually slipped me a beef patty,’” Seth recalled. “It was just the Beyond Burger. She couldn’t believe how close the texture was.”

The burger is helping draw more non-vegans to vegan or vegetarian restaurants, out of curiosity, or maybe an interest in a veggie diet.

Seth, who admits he’s only vegan ‘about 80 per cent of the time’ said it’s not about judgement, but sustainability and created options.

“We want to be that bridge to make it extremely easy for people,” he explained. “If today they want to have a vegetarian or vegan day, they can come here and we’ll satisfy them with the meal we have.”

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