The 'No Bull' Burger
I like meat; I really, really do. But there is so much evidence that eating less is better for us, for the environment and certainly for the animals themselves, that I also eat meat-free a lot of the time and as a result am no stranger to a veggie burger.
There are two kinds of veggie burger, really: the meat-imitating kind, and the out and out veggie kind. For people avoiding meat because they don't like the taste, texture, thought of it etc. then I direct you towards a decent homemade bean burger or the new Asda frozen veggie burgers that come in flavours like asparagus and edamame. For people who want something to replicate meat - perhaps you love meat but don't eat it for ethical or health reasons - then the Quorn breaded 'chicken' burgers are hard to beat, Linda McCartney's BBQ pulled pork one is decent, the Amy's Kitchen Manhattan burger has a lovely savouriness that mimics meat, and finally, these...
The No Bull Burgers from Iceland are vegan, plant based patties that are as close to the appearance of meat that i have found in a veggie burger*. Thanks to some clever beetroot work they actually appear to 'bleed' whilst cooking, and retain a level of moisture that is often missing from a plant-based burger - even on a barbecue where many of the juices and fats will drip down to the coals instead of sizzling away with the burger in a pan.
Onto the eating and the texture is -- meaty -- there's no other word to describe it, so I expect carnivorous types will like the realistic bite and mouth-feel that comes with it. Often meat substitutes can feel a little fluffy or floury, but this is moist and has the right density of a quarter-pounder without being too closely packed together. I served mine in a brioche buns with slices of avocado, red onion, some Violife feta (the only vegan cheese I've tried that hasn't made me heave), a spicy sweetcorn salsa and some BBQ'd buffalo cauliflower that I'm obsessed with.
Taste-wise, I'm going to be upfront: they aren't a massive whack of beefy, meaty, umami flavour. They're just not. If you're not packing that burger with all sorts of other things then you may be underwhelmed, as really what these have got going for them is the mouth-feel of a burger; not the flavour. They taste of 'generic meat' (not at all beetrooty) which comes from the fact they're a mix of soya protein, rice flour and vegetable fibre; so layer that patty up with melted cheese - or 'cheez' (VG) - get some crunch going with crisp lettuce leaves, onion rings, or give it a helping hand with some fiery hot sauce or relish. For £2 for two and 200kcal, I'll take it.
*I have been sent these burgers in the past by the Iceland PR team for work, but I bought these myself
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