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I tried KFC's Beyond Fried Chicken, and now I have hope for fast food in 2022

Business Insider
Business Insider
 2022-01-19

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  • KFC debuted Beyond Fried Chicken across the US in January.
  • Though I eat animal products, I was surprised at how good these nuggets were.
  • I'm optimistic about more chains testing out new menu items and experiment with plant-based foods.
At the beginning of January, KFC released its Beyond Fried Chicken across the US after successful early tests dating back to 2019.
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While I do eat meat and other animal products, I was excited to see how the dish stacked up to KFC classics.
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The chicken chain sent me the 12-piece nuggets in a green box featuring Colonel Sanders, along with four different sauces to sample.
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My first reaction to the nuggets was at their size. They're huge, up to 2 inches wide and in uniform, rectangular shapes.
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Though the uniformly rectangular shape and size initially threw me, they looked good on closer inspection, with promising, crispy breading.
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I could see hints of KFC's seasoning on the breading, so I was happy to taste them.
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Of course I prepared my sauces, too.
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The nuggets were slightly too big to fit comfortably inside the sauce container. It's not a huge problem and is definitely fixable, but it was something I hadn't anticipated.
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The first bite (tried here by my fiancé Joe) delivered on everything I could want from a KFC nugget: juicy, crispy, flavorful.
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Not only did the texture feel right in a bite, it even looked right.
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Beyond Meat and KFC somehow nearly perfectly recreated the slightly stringy, pull-apart texture of a standard fast-food nugget.
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Like any fast food nugget, the flavor is not particularly "chicken-y," but that's not limited to plant-based varieties. Most of the taste comes from the breaded seasoning, which delivered in this case.
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The nuggets were hearty enough to hold up against huge globs of sauce without becoming soggy, crucial for the fast-food nugget as a vehicle for honey mustard sauce.
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Joe and I agreed we'd have trouble distinguishing these plant-based nuggets from a real chicken alternative.
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The differences are a bit more apparent without sauce, but that's mostly down to the shape of the nuggets, which is just cosmetic and doesn't really impact taste.
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The nuggets are available at $6.99 for 6 pieces, or $13.99 for 12 pieces. While slightly pricey for chicken nuggets, the large size does make it a slightly better deal.
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These nuggets really impressed me, and gave me hope for more brands to try creative and new menu items this year.
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Do you have a story to share about a retail or restaurant chain? Email this reporter at mmeisenzahl@businessinsider.com .

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