By Arts & Entertainment Editor Sawyer Pollitt
Dunkin’ Donuts, or just Dunkin’ as they have rebranded themselves, released the “Beyond Meat Sausage” this month. Is it good? Should you care about it? As one of the Torch’s resident vegetarians, I feel like I can speak on this topic with some degree of authority.
It was a wet and cold Sunday morning when I pulled up to the Dunkin’ on route six with the intention of ordering a vegan sausage breakfast sandwich. I was massively hungover and had to be at work in New Bedford in twenty minutes. This would be my only food for the next six hours. I ordered a black coffee, a glazed donut, hash browns, and a vegan sausage, with egg and cheese, on an English muffin. I drove to work.
The ride to work was torturous, not because I’d rather be asleep, but because the sausage had a divine smell, and that isn’t hyperbole, I literally felt closer to God after smelling this sausage. It let off an aroma of maple. Maple, in the opinion of this reviewer, is one of the best smells that meat can have. Granted, I haven’t eaten meat in years, I still remember maple glazed meats to be pretty tasty. I was eagerly awaiting the moment when I would finally eat this sandwich.
I bit into the sandwich about thirty minutes after ordering it. This was my first mistake. Its my own fault for waiting that long to take the first bite, however, being a professional on an assignment for the Torch, I had to dock two points for temperature.
Taking a bite of the sandwich, my first impression wasn’t “Wow, am I eating meat? This sure tastes like meat! I hope its not real meat, because man oh man, that wouldn’t be good!”. This sausage is clearly not made of meat. Make no mistake, this won’t fool anyone. The only aspect of this dish that reminds me of meat is the smell.
That being said, its not a bad sandwich. It tastes strongly of sausage-esque spices, which gives the illusion of meat. My main issue with the sandwich, as is my issue with all fake meat, is the texture. The patty itself was too solid. It sat between the bread and egg like a monolith saying “Oh yeah, check me out, this isn’t your normal meat patty. This is Beyond Meat.” It was obnoxious and I hate it. This led to another three points being docked from the total score of the sandwich.
The shining beacon for this sandwich is that it filled me up and fueled me for a five-hour shift of backbreaking labor, sitting behind a desk, watching YouTube. My usual pre-work breakfast, egg and cheese on an English muffin, satiates me for a few hours, but by the end of my shift, I am absolutely ravenous. In its job as a food designed to alleviate hunger, it succeeds.
Would I order this again? Sure. I wouldn’t buy it necessarily for the flavor, I would buy it to show demand for vegetarian and vegan alternatives. The flavor is lack luster, and by God, I’ve gotten better texture from a Boca burger. However, the idea of international chains offering plant-based food speaks to a societal change in the way people look at those with alternative diets.
As a food, I give the Dunkin’ vegan sausage a tepid 5/10. It’s not good, its food. It’s not bad, its food. Does it taste like meat? No, of course not, its made from plants. In a pinch it does scratch that meaty, meaty itch that vegetarians like me sometimes get. Yes.
I would encourage you, dear reader, to order this sandwich next time you go to Dunkin’. There is literally nothing to lose. Seeing as this is a fast-food chain, this vegan patty cannot be any worse than the meat they are serving. If anything, it’s better. There will be nothing lost and, admittedly, nothing gained for you to order this vegan patty. If you aren’t doing it for yourself, at least order it for the poor, poor vegetarians of the world who just want to have more options at restaurants.