Jun 27, 2022

Review: Unreal Deli - Unreal Corn'd Beef

Unreal Deli's Unreal Corn'd Beef is a plant-based deli meat made from wheat protein (gluten) as well as vegetables such as beets, chickpeas, and tomatoes.

A 5-oz bag retails for $5.99 at my local supermarket, but I received this pack courtesy of Unreal Deli

In terms of texture, the Unreal Corn'd Beef was moist and somewhat crumbly. It pulled apart very easily, but not in a meat-fiber sort of way. When eaten by itself, the wheat protein (also known as seitan) had a slightly rubbery chew that fell apart into smaller granules in my mouth.

The Unreal Corn'd Beef had a sweet, herby aroma to it. Eaten alone, the deli meat is peculiarly sweet and not what I typically would associate with corned beef, which I recall being primarily just really salty. This is likely due to the beets and other additional sweeteners added, including maple syrup and brown sugar. 

However, everything somehow changed once I put it together with fixings in a sandwich. The Unreal Corn'd Beef managed to taste saltier when eaten in a sandwich, with the sweetness as more of an afternote. The slightly rubbery texture felt closer to meat texture when eaten together with other ingredients; at the very least, it was no longer rubbery. It reminded me a little of shaved steak and how it sort of falls apart in bits.

Overall, Unreal Corn'd Beef was fairly pleasant as far as plant-based deli meats go. I've had some seriously unpleasant offerings previously, and I would say this is among the top in terms of plant-based deli meat offerings. That said, it is nothing like actual deli meat, and if you go in with the expectation of an accurate copycat of corned beef, you will be disappointed. In its own right, it's a pretty good plant-based sandwich offering.

By Renee.

Nutritional Info - Unreal Corn'd Beef
Serving Size - 2 ounces (57g)
Calories - 100 (from Fat - 20)
Fat - 2g (Saturated Fat - 0g)
Sodium - 570mg
Carbs - 11g (Sugar - 1g)
Protein - 14g

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