Jul 20, 2022

Review: Unreal Deli - Unreal Steak Slices

Unreal Deli's Unreal Steak Slices are plant-based deli slices made from wheat protein (gluten), pea protein, lentils, black rice, and shiitake mushrooms.

I received this 5-oz bag courtesy of Unreal Deli. The 5-oz bag is not available at my local supermarkets, but it should retail for roughly the same price as the other two varieties ($5.99 in my area).

The Unreal Steak Slices had a very light aroma that was mostly just earthy. I didn't detect any spices or other flavors aside from perhaps the shiitake mushrooms.

The Unreal Steak Slices had a fairly pleasant texture as far as plant-based cold cuts go, even when eaten alone. They still had that slightly rubbery and crumbly texture due to the use of gluten, but it created a somewhat similar mouthfeel to roast beef when eaten with sandwich fixings. While not a truly successful copycat of actual steak or roast beef, it provided a nice chew nonetheless. At the very least, it was inoffensive, which is all I really hope for when it comes to plant-based meat alternatives.

Perhaps due to the use of shiitake mushrooms, there was an almost meaty umami flavor to the Unreal Steak Slices. The savory flavor lingered in the aftertaste and was quite enjoyable when the deli slices were eaten alone. However, they were light on the spices overall and especially so with the salt; this meant that the Unreal Steak Slices ended up getting lost amongst the other ingredients. I had to add extra salt to my sandwich so that it didn't taste so plain.

In summary, the Unreal Steak Slices were a relatively enjoyable plant-based sandwich option and among some of the best I've tried when it comes to texture. Out of the three Unreal Deli products that I tried (the others being Corn'd Beef and Roasted Turk'y), I would definitely say that the Unreal Steak Slices were the most successful of the bunch. However, it really needed to be a lot saltier. It's a bit of a head-scratcher for me, as deli meat is typically very salty to help cut through all the other sandwich fixings, and I would like the same in a plant-based offering.

By Renee.

Nutritional Info - Unreal Steak Slices
Serving Size - 2 ounces (57g)
Calories - 120 (from Fat - 30)
Fat - 4g (Saturated Fat - 0g)
Sodium - 480mg
Carbs - 8g (Sugar - 1g)
Protein - 15g

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