Avantgarde in a mall: Hamburg-based fast food chain Vinzent Vegan sells burgers with Beyond Meat patties.
In the legendary French comedy The Wing or the Thigh, Louis de Funès impersonates a food critic, fighting against evil industrialist Tricatel. Tricatel wants to flood the market with his synthetic food products. Fast forward about forty years: it’s 2019, the world is going down, climate change is here to stay, and industrial meat production plays a major part in that. Suddenly, the thought of synthetic meat doesn’t seem too disgusting. Quite the opposite: at the Eastside mall in Friedrichshain, the Hamburg-based fast food chain Vinzent Vegan has extended their range from the usual tofu patties to Beyond Meat burgers. For about €12. Which is, well, the price to pay for the future.
Beyond Meat is not only a promise, but also a brand. The company is one of the two top players in the vegan meat product market. Just like their main competitor Impossible Foods, they’re based in Silicon Valley. At Vinzent Vegan, the far-travelled patties come with a slice of vegan cheese and remind the eater of a burger patty that’s spent a few seconds too little on the grill. Where it has touched the grill, the surface is brown, the middle stays reddish — for which, amongst others, beetroot is responsible.
Deep BBQ smoke flavours
The first bite feels like a punch in the face with a slab of meat, with deep BBQ smoke flavours, close to its real meat counterpart. But the consistency is just a tad too soft. It lacks the resistance of animal protein and also its full-bodied taste. The most surprising thing, however, is how little the taste is surprising. If you’re a casual burger eater, you’ll be quite content with a Beyond Meat patty. By now, Vinzent Vegan isn’t the only place to taste Beyond Meat. Berlin’s old vegan fast food joint Yoyo Food World, (amongst others) has their own version on the menu, too. The patties are also sold at Metro, one of Germany’s largest wholesale chains.
Will vegan meat replacements save the world? Not yet. At least not for €12 per burger. But things will start getting interesting once the prices fall. What would Louis de Funès say?
Address: Tamara-Danz-Straße 11, Friedrichshain, Mon-Sat 10am-8pm
Directions: S- and U-Bahn station Warschauer Straße