I Tried This Plant-Based Bacon Alternative, And It's Almost As Good As The Real Thing
"The fact that we're calling it 'alternative' today means that there's something conventional, and looking forward 10, 20 years, plant-based WILL be a conventional option."
Hello, I'm Crystal and I am a fan of bacon. But I'm also a fan of plant-based foods! (Life is complicated, what can I say.) So, when I heard about* this new plant-based bacon from a company called Prime Roots, I thought it'd be fun to try it out.
Here's what I thought...
Upon arrival, I was initially impressed that the packaging and size of the bacon looked just like "real" bacon.
After taking a closer look at what this alternative bacon is actually comprised of, I learned it's made from something called koji.
Talking a little more in depth about WHY Prime Roots uses koji, Le told BuzzFeed:
"Think of it as like the 'roots' of mushrooms. If you were to visualize what koji looks like when we grow it, it's very long, really beautiful white fibers that perfectly replicate the texture of meat. When I studied microbiology, I thought about this problem of replacing meat. The first thing I asked myself was, 'what is meat?' And if you look at meat under a microscope, it's these long muscle fibers. So koji perfectly replicates that. If you look under a microscope, they are are almost identical. It's a whole food protein, we're not doing any kind of isolation or extraction, which almost all other plant-based proteins do. We're really just using the whole koji in all its glory."
And here are the actual ingredients and nutritional info of their bacon, if you're interested:
Now on to the taste test!
According to the directions on the packaging, to cook the bacon all you do is toss it into a pan/skillet with some oil. (I was surprised it suggested using oil, but I wanted to follow the directions and went ahead and used some vegetable oil.)
The plant-based bacon actually sizzled like real bacon while it cooked!
The bacon did shrink up a bit while cooking...
...and here's what it looked like when it was done.
The bacon compared to my head for final size reference, hehe.
So, what did it actually taste like?
Did I like it? Yes! Overall, I think Prime Roots's plant-based bacon is a great substitute for "real" bacon if you're in the market to try an alternative, plant-based meat or if you're vegetarian/vegan and looking for a solid bacon replacement.
And I really like Le's philosophy about the future of alternative meat options, she said: "No one called a veggie burger an 'alternative meat' 10 years ago, it was just a veggie burger. The fact that we're calling it 'alternative' today means that there's something conventional, and I'm really excited because looking forward 10, 20 years, plant-based WILL be a conventional option. It won't just be bacon...and it'll be from a plant source. And that's really the future I'm so, so excited about."
Note: BuzzFeed was sent this product free for review; however, we are under no obligation to give a positive review.