Food

WHICH VEGAN BURGER IS BEST?

Man, I can’t move for vegan alternatives these days. I work in the food and drink industry so am often at exhibitions in the UK and Europe. Walking around these trade shows last year was pretty interesting and there was plenty of mention of vegan this and that, but in 2019 it’s exploded. There’s just so much choice all of a sudden.

In the abundance of new meat-a-likes there’s always going to be some winners and some, well, not-so-winners. So I’ve decided to give my two cents on which vegan burgers I think are the best.

I’ve purposely chosen this bunch to talk about because they’re the most similar to meat burgers; my theory being that makes them more approachable for you if you’re not vegan. I could talk about the best quinoa and kale burger (it’s this one) but I reckon that’d be over-veganing it. Are you ready? Then let’s begin.

Moving Mountains vegan burger
Moving Mountains – 5/5

The burgers from Moving Mountains are insanely good. Hands down, the best vegan patties I’ve tasted. But don’t expect to rush out and buy them at your local shop anytime soon; they’re only available through caterers and restaurants like Ed’s Easy Diner and Harvester.

Seriously though, these are so good I’m considering a starting a business account with my local cash and carry and buying a box of 20. Anyone else fancy a five-pounder burger?

I’ve just remembered that I should technically have called this blog, ‘Which Vegan Disc Is Best?’. If you haven’t seen the power of the meat industry and it’s lobbyists, have a look here. Unfortunately this article was posted just three days too late to be an April Fool’s prank. This is, sadly, 100% real and 100% pathetic. Anyway, back to Vegetable Cylinders.

Linda McCartney Pulled Pork vegan burger
Linda McCartney Pulled Pork – 3/5

Good ol’ Linda. You can always rely on the McCartneys for good music and good meat-free food. It seems you can buy the brand in most stores now and that’s a great gauge for measuring how popular veggie and vegan diets have become.

For this review, I chose the Pulled Pork burger from their fairly massive range. It’s a pretty safe bet and I’d pick them up again if they were my only option, but they’re on the salty side for me.

The Meatless Farm Co. vegan burger
The Meatless Farm Co. – 2/5

I spoke to someone from The Meatless Farm Co. recently and was told they’re keen to avoid the word vegan because it ‘puts people off’. A small part of me wants to be offended but you know what? They’re probably right.

We’re not all V60-drinking, Toms-wearing, hipster vegan dirtbags (might be talking about just myself there) and to assume everyone accepts and isn’t put off by the word ‘vegan’ would be a mistake. The sad fact is that ‘vegan’ is often wrongly associated with flavourless, formless food.

I can see this changing in the future with the amount of fantastic alternatives coming out, but actually the Meatless Farms burger doesn’t taste that great and it’s more than a little too crumbly for me. Perhaps avoiding the word ‘vegan’ is best for everyone.

Quorn Hot & Spicy vegan burger
Quorn Hot & Spicy Burger – 3/5

The Quorn Hot & Spicy Burger is a bready, white meat alternative that, like Ronseal, is exactly what it claims to be. Hot and spicy. And Quorn. And a burger. It’s not winning any awards for it’s appearance; it’s firmly in the Beige Brigade and wouldn’t be amiss on the Ugly Vegan Insta. But for taste and texture, it’s a great choice. I mean, if it’s good enough for The Mobot, it’s good enough for me.

I’d like to see more vegan options from Quorn – it seems they’re lagging behind Linda and pals on plant-based options. On a related note, what are your thoughts on vegetarian brands bringing out new veggie options? To me, it seems fairly counter-productive now that vegan food tech is so advanced.

I mean, if you’re vegetarian, you’ll eat vegan food right? But it doesn’t work the other way, so why not just develop new vegan food instead? Setting aside the environmental and ethical benefits, does it not make good business sense too? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Iceland No Bull vegan burger
Iceland No Bull – 4/5

Who would have thought that Iceland would be up there with the top innovators in free-from? (That’s the Iceland full of freezers, not the island full of geysers). But here we are, in a world where they’re leading the way with their meat free range, ditching plastic, and leading the charge against palm oil.

Or at least they’re claiming to be but actually employing some pretty shady tactics to dodge their commitments. Iceland, your heart is in the right place and you’re miles ahead in some areas, but please don’t try to mislead the public with a technicality.

If you haven’t tried Iceland’s No Bull burger, you should. It’s got a great texture, great taste, and only narrowly loses out to the aforementioned Moving Mountains burger.

There are dozens more contenders I haven’t got around to trying yet, so maybe there’s an even better burger out there. If you think there is, let me know in the comments below. Now, I’m off to build that five pounder burger…

Images by Moving Mountains; Linda McCartney Foods; The Meatless Farms Co; Quorn; Iceland Foods

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