There’s an outspoken new plant-based meat player in the game, and it’s one worth noting. It’s called Juicy Marbles, and it’s responsible for some remarkable vegan meat. The company only has a couple of products to its name as of yet, but if the loin is any indicator, Juicy Marbles may be the best thing to happen to the increasingly cramped category since Beyond Meat.
What makes a superior plant-based meat? Consistency and flavor, preferably in a nutritious format. With the Juicy Marbles whole-cut loin, you get all of the above. Not bad for a startup out of Slovenia.
The loin weighs in at 1.66 pounds and packs in 26 grams of protein per serving. We’re not entirely sure how it’s made, and the company is rightfully secretive about that to some extent. It’s advertised as primarily plant structure with soy and wheat protein, along with sunflower oil and beet juice. The color resembles meat, the texture resembles meat, and it cooks like meat. Because it comes raw and unseasoned, you can do with it as you please.
While far from cheap ($60), the loin does live up to its servings per container suggestion (more than six). We enjoyed the loin roasted and treated to a little but of cumin, salt, oregano and garlic powder. We ate as a party of four and had plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. What’s impressive is the natural flavor of the stuff, which is much more robust and nuanced than expected. It cooked wonderfully, with a nice crust forming early on that hardened and caramelized a bit, all while keeping the core extremely tender.
Perhaps pristine evenness is expected from a synthetic meat, but it’s still a cool thing to work with, as there simply isn’t a fatty or sinewy nibble on the thing. It comes straight out of the 3D-printer (or whatever makes it) looking and tasting sound throughout. The finished product came apart with ease, resembling something akin to pulled pork, and it worked wonders alongside some sweet potatoes and roasted vegetables.
Also impressive is the health element. So many plant-based meats are better for the environment but aren’t always significantly better for you than traditional meat. Not the case here. The Juicy Marbles loin boasts no cholesterol and just eight grams of fat per serving, all while keeping sodium content in check. You also get tons of vitamin B12 and a quarter of your daily dietary fiber needs.
This is a great plant-based meat, excelling at everything from taste to texture, not to mention branding. We only roasted the loin, but we imagine it would do equally well seared, pan-fried, or even grilled. Of the many plant-based protein options now at the ready, Juicy Marbles is one worth paying attention to, especially as the brand has secured some impressive financial backing and is in the midst of creating new products.
Bonus: Do read the box while you’re cooking. The content reads like a funny manifesto in a dystopian world — maybe just what the doctor ordered in 2023.
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