“I Tried Mark Cuban’s Favorite Vegan Corned Beef. Here’s What I Thought”
If you're an avid fan of Shark Tank, chances are you watched entrepreneur Jenny Goldfarb pitch the sharks on her vegan corned beef product not long ago. She ultimately struck a deal with Mark Cuban, who as of recently seems extremely pleased with his investment. He has been quoted as saying, "Sales are really, really good — better than I imagined."
Goldfarb a New York City native, knows a thing or two about quality deli meat and has brought her expertise into the plant-based world, launching Mrs. Goldfarb's Unreal Deli, a meat alternative brand that reimagines classic cold cuts, made with plant-based ingredients.
Now the brand is bringing plant-based subs to hungry Americans all over the country and announced the opening of ghost kitchens to serve up vegan sandwiches featuring Unreal Deli's cold cuts to customers nationwide.
Unreal Deli's spotlight product is its vegan 'Corn'd Beef,' which has garnered tons of attention and has even been introduced as a meatless option at New York City's iconic Sarge's Deli. “New York has always been my biggest prize,” Goldfarb said of the menu addition. “But Jewish delis are tough. Many haven’t put anything new on the menu in 100 years — and it’s not like there’s a new turkey club or matzo ball.” This feat proves that the buzz around Unreal Deli is certainly justified, so I set out to taste-test the Corn'd Beef and find out for sure.
What Does Unreal Deli's Vegan Corn'd Beef Taste Like?
Arriving in a pouch reminiscent of the deli counter, Unreal Deli's vegan Corn'd Beef slices look nearly identical to traditional corned beef. Reddish, well-seasoned, and appearing to have the same flaky texture as the real thing, Unreal Deli's Corn'd Beef is just about a dead ringer for actual corned beef.
I decided to conduct this taste test by assembling a Reuben, which, by my determination would be the most authentic way to test the slices. Some sauerkraut, melted cheese, vegan thousand island, and four slices of Unreal Deli's Corn'd Beef was sandwiched between two slices of toasted rye.
The first bite blew me away. Salty, peppery, slightly sweet, and well, meaty, the vegan corned beef slices were indistinguishable from real meat in the sandwich. The texture had just enough chew to make someone double-check the ingredients.
What is Unreal Deli's Vegan Corn'd Beef Made of?
Unreal Deli's Corn'd Beef is made primarily of wheat protein and gets its signature reddish color from beets. Other ingredients include brown sugar, onion, potato starch, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, tomatoes, and a proprietary spice blend.
Each five-ounce pouch contains 2.5 servings. One serving contains 130 calories, 560mg of sodium, 15 grams of protein, and one gram of fiber. While this meat alternative is super high in sodium, so is traditional corned beef, so it really comes as no surprise.
Where Can You Buy Unreal Deli Slices?
Overall, I think Unreal Deli's vegan Corn'd Beef is an amazing product that captures the essence of traditional deli meat in terms of both flavor and texture, and would recommend it to anyone who loves the taste of corned beef but is trying to eat less meat.
You can purchase the meat alternatives online in 1, 2.5, 5, or 10-pound quantities, or find a retailer near you.
For more plant-based recommendations, visit The Beet's product reviews.