At last, Beyond is ready for you to eat its chicken tenders

The tenders, available only in restaurants, are the result of a 10-year R&D process.

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Beyond Chicken Tenders
Photo: courtesy Beyond

For the young, and also the young at heart and taste bud, the best cut of meat is the breaded chicken tender. Most people above the age of 21 refuse to admit this, but it’s true. Beyond Meat knows this. For the past decade, the plant-based meat company has been working to develop a palatable chicken tender. And now, today, July 8, 2021, the Beyond Chicken Tenders have arrived!

The tenders will be available exclusively in restaurants for now; the Beyond website has a handy widget where you can look for the closest source of Beyond Tenders near you. It is unclear when we’ll be able to buy the tenders for at-home cooking, or when one of the major American fast food chains will start serving them.

In a press release, Beyond claims that the new chicken tenders “look, cook and taste like traditional chicken tenders... breaded to perfection for a crispy outside and irresistibly tender bite.” But instead of chicken, they are, like all Beyond products, made from fava beans and peas. They also contain 40% less saturated fat than “the leading foodservice chicken tender.” (Sysco, is that you?) How do they compare to existing chik’n nuggets? Unknown.

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Although Beyond produced its first chicken product back in 2012, it took 200 members of the company’s research, innovation and culinary teams to work out the magic formula for the tender. But it comes at a convenient time, just as the nation is experiencing a chicken breast shortage. (Is there a connection? Inquiring minds want to know.)

“We’re innovating the poultry market with the new Beyond Chicken Tenders—the result of our tireless pursuit for excellence and growth at Beyond Meat,” Dariush Ajami, Beyond’s chief innovation officer, said in a statement. “As with all our products, Beyond Chicken Tenders offer delicious taste and an exceptional culinary experience, along with strong nutritional benefits. Innovation is at the heart of Beyond Meat, and Beyond Chicken Tenders are the latest example of our mission to create groundbreaking, tasty options that are better for people and for our planet.”

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But how do they taste, Dariush? And are they better with ketchup, honey mustard, or ranch? Do I actually have to leave my apartment and drag myself out to the nearest [checks website] Epic Burger to find out? Maybe...