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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

You can now get a vegan burger in the UAE that tastes and looks like the real thing 

The redness of the 'flesh' comes from beetroot and it changes hue as it cooks, just like the real thing

The entirely plant-based Beyond Burger is becoming a permanent menu item in Bareburger's four UAE restaurants

The much-hyped Beyond Burger – a vegan patty that purports to cook, look and taste like one made from beef – will be available on Bareburger's menu as a permanent option from September 9. The restaurant chain trialed the patty earlier in the year, and the resoundingly positive feedback from customers convinced Bareburger to make it permanent.

The US company makes laudable claims about its insistence on sustainability and ethical farming methods – its locations are constructed with reclaimed and recycled materials, and more than a third of its menu is vegetarian or plant-based. Offering the Beyond Burger as part of its repertoire, then, makes perfect sense.

The patty took nearly a decade to develop

Much has been made of the patties produced by Beyond Meats, due to their apparent similarity to ground beef, in both flavour and appearance. The appeal is simple: give people what they love to eat but without the environmental damage, animal welfare controversies or associated health risks, and you have a winner.

The products have taken nearly a decade to develop and they are entirely plant-based, the main protein source coming from peas, and the juiciness coming from coconut oil and potato starch. There’s no soy or gluten in them, and they’re GMO-free, too. The redness of the "flesh" comes from beetroot and it changes hue as it cooks, just like the real thing.

It has been well documented that we should scale back on the amount of meat we consume, even without the vegan argument. The Beyond Burger was formulated by taking the trace elements, minerals, lipids and amino acids that form the core make-up of animal meat and finding them in various plants. Will it pass the taste test for the UAE’s ardent carnivores? We’ll know for sure next week as it will be served at Bareburger’s Abu Dhabi outlet in Marina Mall, and in Dubai at its La Mer, Festival City and City Walk branches.

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Read more:

UAE vegans share their recommendations on popular meat alternatives

From veganism to going organic: How UAE restaurants are responding to the latest food trends

How veganism can save the planet

The social and environmental reasons why people are giving up meat

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