New meat was created in four big cities: London, Amsterdam, Berlin, and Tel Aviv. It included exactly no animal. Celebrity chef Marco Pierre White represents the brand Redefine Meat in London. Chefs, investors, barbecue and burger lovers, as well as past MasterChef winners, gathered at Mr. White’s in Leicester Square to sample it. The giving of a pipette of “blood” established the tone of the gathering – “Doesn’t that taste like blood, though?” said an eager waiter. Yes, of course. But take it from a carnivore: blood is more something we tolerate than something we eagerly seek out. Here are all you need to know about 3D printed steak.
“I’ve had vegans say that this tastes too much like meat,” said Eshchar Ben-Shitrit, CEO and creator of Redefine Meat. “I don’t eat meat myself.” I believe it is unethical to slaughter and consume animals.
However, it is preferable to overlook the vegan’s views in order to be flexible.” Plant-based meat substitutes are nothing new, but the recent spike in demand from part-time vegetarians, or flexitarians, has fueled a wave of invention, ranging from seitan to pea protein products. Nonetheless, this is an undeniable technical advance. While a minced texture has been possible for some time, plant-based whole cuts — that is, a cut with the mouthfeel and look of a steak or a lamb chop – have long been thought impossible.
Redefine Meat is tight-lipped about the protein it uses (investors suggest soy; it also utilizes pea protein, as well as foods your grandmother would recognize, such as beets, chickpeas, and coconut oil), but it’s ecstatic about its method: the “meat” is 3D printed steak, and the mimicry is incredible.
The chemicals that distinguish the flavor of beef from that of lamb are few, but they are quite potent. This is, without a doubt, the most accurate synthetic approximation ever. “I evaluate on flavor, texture, and look — I’ve tasted so many boring and dreary plant products,” said Ben Bartlett, a chef and barbecue specialist. Then this happened, and I started marking them with 9s and 10s.”
The appetizer was “pork sausage” with aubergine and yogurt in a thick, umami-ish, Moroccan-tinged sauce. It wasn’t quite as good as the genuine thing, with a note of sweetness that hinted at its actual origin, but it was undeniably the “game-changer” that everyone talks about. But it wasn’t until the beef dish that the technical prowess was fully shown.
It looked like a stifado, a slow-cooked Greek stew with young onions, and the shape was well-chosen; I’m not sure how much it would resemble a steak if it had been flash-fried. However, the grain, the way it pulls apart, and the texture have an eerie similarity to the flesh. “Many of the conventional meat substitutes are wonderful,” said 2016 MasterChef champion Jane Devonshire, “but you wouldn’t get them past my husband.” Mr. Devonshire would approve of this meat.
White, who spent nine months as a vegan a decade ago, isn’t nearly the unapologetic carnivore portrayed in his early image. “When I dropped from 20 stone to 15, I was enthralled with my weight reduction. Then I began looking at cheese boards and a voice in my brain said, “Eat me.” Nonetheless, he is identified with a certain manner of eating — delicate cuts of noble origin, far apart from processed or synthetic foods. Redefine Meat, on the other hand, seems to have actually won him over. “It’s the smartest thing I’ve seen in my 45 years in the business,” he adds.
Tom Cenci, the head chef of Stoney Street restaurant in east London, is wary of flexitarianism, especially when it is practiced for environmental reasons. “You don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.” “Eating asparagus on Christmas Day, or not respecting the animal you’ve slain and eating the whole carcass, is just as detrimental for the environment as eating meat,” he argues.
Nonetheless, he emphasizes the relevance of this innovation, noting that the vegetarian option of ten years ago – a risotto at the bottom of the menu as an afterthought – is no longer sufficient. The ingenuity reaches a pinnacle with a lamb dish designed to resemble loin and garnished with peas. Without a doubt, you’d be able to figure out what animal this was supposed to be. It’s as different from the “beef” as real lamb is from real beef, yet it still has that lovely back note. Would you prefer it over lamb when these 3D printed steaks are expected to be similar in the price? To bring you over the finish line, you’d have to make a flexitarian commitment.