The vegan meat battle has put chicken in the crosshairs. Earlier this month we reported that Beyond Meat was jumping into chicken tender territory, and because July 27 is National Chicken Tender day, you’ll be able to try some of these chickenless tenders for free tomorrow via DoorDash, according to a press release emailed to The Takeout. Vegan chicken nugget substitutes have been reasonably good for a while now, so this splashy debut might mean that Beyond has succeeded in taking them even a step further in crispiness and overall quality.
Anyone ordering Beyond Chicken Tenders in their meal from participating restaurants via DoorDash tomorrow will receive $15 off their order. The tenders are breaded and look more or less like the stuff you’re already used to. Nutritionally, they’ve got 40% less saturated fat than the animal version, and also contain 14 grams of protein per serving. The “meat” is made from a blend of fava beans and peas, and the new tenders are already available exclusively at restaurants at the moment.
Vox recently did a taste test of the Beyond Chicken Tenders and came away suitably impressed, saying:
Although the tenders are mainly made from fava beans, I honestly wouldn’t have suspected that they come from a plant if I hadn’t known that before I took a bite. They tasted almost identical to real chicken, and the breading on them made them look convincingly chicken-esque.
Vox writer Sigal Samuel also said she gave her grandmother a Beyond Chicken Tenders without telling her it was plant-based. Once Samuel revealed its true plant-based identity, her grandmother said, “I don’t mind, as long as it tastes like chicken. And it does! It’s a bit heavier, but if you hadn’t said anything, I wouldn’t have noticed.”
Impossible is coming out with its own version later this year, made with a blend of sunflower oil and texturized soy. Heme, the substance that makes Impossible’s beef substitute look red (and, for lack of a better word, “bloody”), won’t be included in the chicken tenders’ ingredients. That’s fair. I guess a bloody vegan chicken tender would be pretty gross. Keep an eye out for these products on restaurant menus, and if you do your own taste test, let us know what you think.