Biting into a McDonald’s burger in front of me, I didn’t know what to expect.
Blindfolded, I wasn’t sure if I was biting into the beef or beyond the meat, a plant-based version of the juicy cut.
McDonald’s promises that their new McPlant tastes like a real beef burger – but can I tell them apart?
The fast food chain’s vegan burger is made with “imitation meat” and is now available in all UK branches, giving customers the option of a meat-free menu.
I’m not a vegetarian myself, but sometimes I choose vegan or vegan versions of the menu instead of meaty dishes.
I’ve tried “fake meat” burgers and chicken from other chains and restaurants, but this was my first time tasting McDonald’s McPlant.
I was curious to find out if I could tell McPlant apart from regular cuts of meat in a McDonald’s burger.
McPlant includes a plant-based pie developed with Beyond Meat, along with onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomatoes.
There’s also vegan cheese and the whole thing is topped with mustard, ketchup and vegan burger sauce in a classic sesame seed bun.
After consulting with my colleague, who got his first taste of McPlant’s exclusive last year, I decided to compare it to Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
She said it tasted like the meaty original – but would I be able to tell the difference eating them side by side on a blind taste test?
I pull on a trusty blindfold—an eye mask I use to sleep that blocks all light—and grab my bag of burgers.
I took each one out of the bag at random, not knowing if I was looking for an actual burger or a plant-based bun.
This is how I continue…
When I took my first bite, I thought I’d missed the burger itself – with my eyes closed, I thought I’d just nibbled on a piece of bread.
After the second bite, there was a bit more to it, but I immediately thought it was McPlant.
My suspicions are aroused by consistency rather than taste.
It melts in the mouth more and doesn’t have the heaviness I would expect in a burger.
This is not an unpleasant consistency and I still find it a good burger to eat.
However, the cheese tasted just like normal burger cheese – so, could I really be eating a meat burger?
McDonald’s spent three years trying to make its vegan cheese just right.
Obviously American slices are difficult to imitate, but it seems that Maccies nailed this pattern.
The burger sauce, fresh vegetables and accompaniments like sauces and pickles are all pre-made, and the taste is no different from the steak, so maybe I’m mistaken…
My first second slice of burger seemed to confirm my already-rising suspicions – but I’m still not sure which one it was.
With the blindfold still in place, I ate burger number two.
This piece of cake is much firmer and feels like there is more to chew on.
Is it proof that there’s beef between the buns?
But I have to admit that the Quarter Pounder with cheese is my burger of choice when I bring my Maccies – and the second burger tastes familiar.
Having said that, this “meat” (or not) is drier than the first burger, lighter and pressed with fresh vegetables and sauces.
Can I tell the difference between McPlant and Quarter Pounder with Cheese with real beef patties?
I took off my blindfold to explore… I guessed right.
Tasting each burger side by side, it’s easy to tell the difference. This is mainly due to the consistency of the “meat” piece.
There seems to be less to it, and it looks smaller when comparing both burgers in front of me.
I love McPlant and by itself, I’d say the whole thing – the bun and all – tastes like a good burger.
With fresh lettuce and tomatoes, it can be a little more like a Big Mac other than having a slice of bread rather than the signature two burgers.
If I had eaten the McPlant solo without comparing the meat, I don’t think I would have known the difference.
But taking a bite of a beef burger has a very specific feel to it – it’s a piece of meat, after all.
And doing so right after tasting McPlant brought out those slightly different consistency points.
If I’m craving a burger but don’t want something too heavy, I’d happily order a McPlant.
McDonald’s isn’t the only one to expand its meat-free menu, either.
Burger King has added vegan “chicken” nuggets to its lineup, and Greggs has created a vegan version of his popular cheese and bean melts.
https://www.thesun.ie/money/8232237/mcdonalds-vegan-mcplant-review-compare-taste-burger-difference/ I tasted McDonald’s vegan McPlant and a blindfolded beef burger