I’ve been wondering when the Meat industry would to lash back at the fast-growing Plant-based Meat Substitutes sector. Now, the time has apparently come. And who better to lead the counter attack in the War of the Proteins than Arby’s – the guys who like to boast, “We Have The Meats!”
First shot in the War of the Proteins? Arby’s Marrot, a Carrot made out of Meat.
Whether it’s out of fun or fear, Arby’s has opened a social and cultural Pandora’s Box by announcing it has developed what it calls the Marrot – a Meat Carrot. It’s kind of a Through The Looking Glass thing: While Veggie Protein advocates are rushing to develop new and better imitations of familiar Meat products, Arby’s has reminded them that every coin has two ides, and Meat’s not dead, yet.
A ‘middle finger’ to the Veggie people?
It might just be a good-natured promotional stunt. Then, again, it might be a serious statement by a high-profile Meat purveyor that it doesn’t intend to go gently into extinction, as the experts say they must if we’re all still going to have enough to eat when 2050 rolls around, and climate change has rendered Meat production unsustainable. Let’s take what George H.W. Bush might have called the ‘kinder, gentler’ road, and proceed on the assumption that Arby’s is taking the ‘stunt’ route rather than issuing a declaration of war.
What they did
Arby’s says it makes its Marrots from Turkey Breast pieces, rolled in cheese cloth to give them the desire shape, and cooks them sous vide for an hour to firm them up. Sous vide is, as the language of its name suggests a French cooking method in which foods are vacuum sealed in plastic and simmered in hot water. Sous vide foods come out looking pretty much the same colour as they did when they went into the bath, but are fully cooked and ready to eat. The cooked Marrot is then Rolled in Carrot Powder and toasted in the oven for another hour to consolidate that into a ‘skin’ of the proper colour and texture. A sprig of Parsley is added as a final touch, to mimic a Carrot top.
What’s it like?
Those who’ve had the chance to inspect one up close say it looks (after it’s been cut open) like a tapered Turkey Sausage. One assumes it tastes like regular Turkey plus whatever Herbs, Spices and Seasonings Arby’s adds.
What, indeed, would Bugs Bunny say? We’ll probably never know. But at least one industry commentator has observed that ‘Fake Veggies’ may just be a good way to ensure that folks who don’t get enough vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in their low-Veggie diets make up at least some of the deficit with faux Veggies. That Carrot Powder Arby’s uses to make its Marrot ‘skins’ contains a hefty dose of Vitamin A, and other real-Carrot dietary components. ‘Everything you want from a Sausage plus 70 percent of your daily recommended allowance of Vitamin A’, they could brag.
But will the Marrot ever make it to your plate?
I suspect that the Marrot – as enticing and healthy as it seems – may never actually come to your local Arby’s, not even as a limited time special. But, as a demonstration of the company’s prowess with Meat, it’s hard to beat.
Arby’s is currently advertising that, “We have the Meats – for Sandwiches!” Now, they might well follow that up with, “We have the Meats – for Veggies!”
~ Maggie J.