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prescottman2008's avatar

Would you like vegetarian or vegan products that taste like meat?

Asked by prescottman2008 (775points) June 7th, 2010

I just finished reading an article in Time about a “break through” in “food design” where they’ve made a soy based product that looks, feels, chews and tastes like chicken, or turkey or ham, or whatever. I’m wondering to myself, an avowed omnivore, if someone who has chosen a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle would want something like that. I would think if you’ve sworn off animal products that would mean you’ve also sworn off “imitation animal products” as well. I work in a grocery store and am amazed when I see soy “bacon” or soy “chorizo” or “tofu-rkey”. If I were to ever become a vegetarian I think I would want all my vegetables, fruits and grains to taste like….. vegetables, fruits and grains.

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20 Answers

KatawaGrey's avatar

I am a vegetarian and when a product is too much like meat, it freaks me out. I don’t like the idea that my veggies taste like meat. Like you, I want my veggies to taste like veggies. :)

Also, a number of the “meat substitutes” around now have a unique and delicious flavor of their own which I often crave.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I wouldn’t dislike it but I would take into consideration how much processing is necessary to make a hunk of soy mush resemble my meat. I don’t the point in eating something with so much extra salt, sugar, emulsifiers and such when I could be eating the genuine article. Cost would also be a factor, I wouldn’t pay more to eat hunk of processed soy chunk than I would for a tasty cut of lamb, beef or fish.

wwpil's avatar

I, as a vegetarian don’t really mind these kind of products. I like my veggies to taste like veggies too, but if it’s too much like meat, then what’s the point? I happen to like things like veggie burgers for occasions like bbq’s, and I think that’s one of the points of these meat alternative products. I think it also helps ease the transition for people who are just starting out as vegetarians/vegans, who miss the taste of meat but are choosing not to eat it.

rebbel's avatar

Since i am not a vegetarian i can’t answer your question, but i have the idea that those new taste/look/feel/chews-like-meat products are targeted at people who now eat meat but who want to consider converting to the fake stuff.

6rant6's avatar

I’m an aspiring vegetarian, mostly for health reasons. When I forget my veggie burger is a VEGGIE burger, I am a happy camper. So I’d say, yeah, bring it on! With Condiments!!!

jaytkay's avatar

BocaBurger was selling $40 million/year when Kraft bought them in 2000.

So somebody likes them.

prescottman2008's avatar

My personal feelings about any processed food is to avoid it at any cost. I like the “rule of thumb” “If it has more than 5 ingredients, don’t eat it”, and “If your Grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as “food” then it probably isn’t.”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am a vegan and I don’t mind veggie products that taste like what they’re ‘pretending’ to be. I didn’t become a vegan because I cared about taste.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir: Neither did I, but I’m worried that if I eat something that tastes and feels like meat, I’ll throw up. I also legitimately didn’t like some textures and tastes of meat when I did eat it. I miss chicken though. Chicken always has a great texture.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@KatawaGrey I never really ate meat, anyway…just sushi and chicken.

ubersiren's avatar

I’ve never been fond of meat. Taste, texture, sights and sounds… ick. The only exception is maybe rotisserie chicken (who can resist this stuff?). I like how veggies taste. So to answer your question, I like my vegetarian products to taste like donuts.

prescottman2008's avatar

@ubersiren , now that you mention it, I wouldn’t mind if everything tasted like chocolate! 8-D

Trillian's avatar

I’m afraid to try Beefsteak Tomatoes! And I’m definitely an omnivore. but I feel that some lines should not be crossed.
That being said, if they come up with something that tastes like Godiva chocolate and is calorie and carbohydrate free and it turns out to be made of mushroom tofu oyster shells, I’ll still eat it.

perspicacious's avatar

No. I rather have meat that tastes like meat and vegetables that taste like vegetables.

ChaosCross's avatar

That sounds kind of awesome to me…

But I eat vegetables because of their taste, not because they are healthy :[

DrasticDreamer's avatar

It entirely depends on why someone chooses not to eat meat. Some people genuinely can’t stand the way meat tastes and that’s why they stop eating it – so obviously this new product wouldn’t appeal to them at all. However, other people stop eating meat because they genuinely like animals that much, so why wouldn’t this product appeal to them? Their love for animals just happens to be more important than how good meat can taste. So if someone can think of something where these people don’t have to feel guilty about eating it but it has the same taste as meat they liked? More power to them.

Megan64's avatar

I love, love, love Trader Joe’s Chorizo that’s not chorizo, but soy stuff. I do eat meat but I prefer this to the real thing.

Zaku's avatar

Yes, if it also tastes good. Some meat-like vegan/vegetarian foods taste good to me, and some (well, many) don’t. Same seems to be the feeling with most of my vegan/vegetarian/semi-vegetarian friends, though we don’t all entirely agree on which ones taste good or bad.

downtide's avatar

I like meat but I don’t like heavily processed meat, like you get in pies, sausages, burgers and so on. I would much rather eat a vegetarian version that looks and tastes like meat but without the cheap gristly bits. But it would not be a substitute for a nice piece of steak or a roast chicken.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Well, not in particular – all i want is something that i can substitute a meat burger patty for when i make my homemade burgers – it can be veggie or anything, as long as it makes a good burger, which doesn’t have to taste like meat at all.
Having said that, there’s this one veggie burger that i buy to make burgers with, it a crumbed chicken style soy burger, and it does have sort of a chicken texture to it and may even pass for a chicken burger if you have plenty of condiments on it. Not that this is way i buy it, i buy it because it tastes really good.
So…, i don’t need something that tastes exactly like meat. I miss meat, but i don’t need fake substitutes, i’m doing just fine without it. EXCEPT! for soy mince – i like to make spaghetti bolognase from that, the way my mum makes it – it tastes like the real meat one.

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