I tried the new Moving Mountains burger that’s been making the headlines lately. It’s the meat-free burger that ‘bleeds’, but does it actually taste like meat?
First off, I have an admission to make: I’m not a vegetarian. I did however try veganism for a whole year recently (that’s a whole ‘nother post though), but have since reverted back to my carnivorous ways. That’s not to say that I haven’t changed my diet at all: I now eat less meat than I used to, and since finding that there’s some good meat substitutes that I enjoy, have started incorporating a few more of these onto my plate. The new Moving Mountains burger is the latest to have found its way onto my fork.
I was in the middle of my vegan experiment when the American bleeding meat-free burgers (Beyond Burgers) were the talk of all the newspapers, but finding them in the UK was an impossible task. So I was surprised to see the similar-sounding Moving Mountains burgers on the menu in a local pub when I visited recently. Marston’s, the UK pub chain, have these as the centrepiece of their decent vegan menu offering, and offer them topped with BBQ jackfruit, sweet chilli vegan coleslaw, onion rings and chips.
The burger looked great, if a little thinner than expected, and had a pleasant-enough consistency. Occasionally meat-substitutes can get this particular aspect very wrong, with overly rubbery burgers or sausages being a little off-putting. It’s when taking a bite of the Moving Mountains burger though that it really shows off its credentials; you’d never guess that it was a vegan burger by looking at it. The juicy strands of torn plant protein are a million miles away from the uniform beige we’ve come to expect from some other meat substitutes. There was no beetroot-induced ‘bleeding’ action on show however, which to be honest wasn’t really a deal-breaker for me. Not sure if the Moving Mountains team did their meat research exclusively in Transylvanian diners, but I’ve never been served, nor ever had a hankering for a bloody burger anyway.
The first few bites gave no clue as to the burger’s taste, as the BBQ pulled jackfruit topping was so overpowering as to render whatever might be sitting beneath it as irrelevant. The BBQ jackfruit was tasty enough, but a bit too sweet. Eager to see what the actual burger tasted like, I scraped the jackfruit off and had a proper butchers at the burger. The chargrilled lines on show could have been applied by the manufacturer for a more authentic look, but judging by the darkness, they seemed to be genuine.
But anyway, I’ve kept you waiting long enough – you want to know whether the scores of scientists, chefs and research teams involved in the creation of this meat-free burger finally found the holy grail and recreated the taste of meat.
I’m afraid it’s a no.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s a tasty burger. It also REALLY looks the part and has a pleasant consistency, but the beefiness isn’t quite there. Would you be able to fool a meat-eater at a barbecue? Quite possibly, especially after it’s smothered in a sauce and they’d had a couple of drinks. The fact that I’m fairly well-versed in meat substitutes possibly went against me here, as the burger tastes a lot like the perennial vegan staple, seitan.
Although it isn’t quite the no-meat meat experience that it’s billed as, the Moving Mountains burger is still a very tasty burger. Is it the burger to make meat-eaters switch from beef? No. But for those who are environmentally conscious, care about animal welfare, or are just interested in trying new foods, it’s a damn sight better than a dried-up old bean-burger, just ask them to go easy on that jackfruit.
Has all this burger chat got you hungry for more lifestyle posts? Why not have a butcher’s at this list of the worst watches ever.