Whether people want to cut out on meat entirely or at least reduce their consumption, it is quite evident that vegetarianism and veganism are growing treds. The sad truth is that fast food restaurants seldom cater to those people, for the most part offering almost exclusively meat based meals (unless you came for a fast food salad that is).
KFC is now officially ahead of the game with a new fake chicken burger, launched in London on the 17th of June under the name of Imposter Burger. You understood it right, this burger is fully vegan. It is the perfect imitation of any of the original burgers on their menu as it is coated with the same herb and spice blend that makes KFC so differentiable. The only element that’s lacking is cheese. The company has not yet managed to develop a vegan cheese recipe that melts the same way as their American cheese.
Victoria Robertson, the recipe developer for the Imposter said that the vegan chicken filet found in the burger took a year to develop. They used the meat substitute company Quorn, which contains mycoprotein as an ingredient derived from fungus. However, this business focuses on vegetarian substitutes, and not vegan. Therefor the vegan part of the new KFC launch is what took more effort, as it had to be tailored to the Fried Chicken Chain’s needs.
Eater London contributor Josh Barrie sampled the burger for I News, and remained quite positive about it, saying “Quorn has done a decent job with the breast, which is firm and vaguely chicken-y; it’s not too dry or aggressively spongy. Even if it doesn’t tear apart like meat, its texture is such that it provides an ample vehicle for that famous Kentucky coating.” He did however point out that the herb and spice coating deserves to be more generously applied, because after all, that is what people go to KFC for.
Concerning the burgers nutritional value, it contains 450 calories and has less saturated fat and sugar than the other burgers on KFC’s menu. I guess this does make it slightly healthier.
One concern does remain unclear however. It seems almost impossible to tell how this new plant-based chicken recipe may be beneficial to the planet. Ms Robertson is unable to tell us how many chickens may be saved if say 50% of the KFC burgers were to be replaced by vegan versions. This is problematic as many people converge to veganism specifically for the sake of being more sustainable for the planet.
Ms Robertson commented: “We just want to offer customers the choice. I think some people might go for the vegan version instead, so we might end up reducing the number of fillet burgers we sell. But it might also allow vegans who have never tried KFC’s original recipe flavour the chance to do so. It works both ways.”