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Fast food and Veganuary - we put three of the major chains' veggie offerings to the taste test


Vegetable patch: Aoife Walsh takes the fast food test

Vegetable patch: Aoife Walsh takes the fast food test

Vegetable patch: Aoife Walsh takes the fast food test

It's 'Veganuary', and to mark the occasion a plethora of fast food chains have launched a vegan or vegetarian alternative to their menu.

KFC, Boojum and Burger King are among the restaurants that have launched a meal aimed at those looking to cut down their meat intake.

But are they actually any good?

We ordered three meal options aimed at vegan/vegetarian consumers, and put them to the taste test.

The first meal was Burger King's Rebel Whopper - launched late last year - which cost €5.10.

Although the Whopper is marketed as "100pc plant-based", it's not suitable for vegans or vegetarians as it's cooked on the same broiler as their meat patties.

It said this is to provide their "signature flame-grilled taste, so we do not label the burger as vegan or vegetarian burger".

The Rebel Whopper patty, made from soy, wheat, herbs, onions and vegetable oil, is a tasty alternative to a meat burger .

While I liked the absence of any grease or mess that usually comes with a Whopper burger, the flame-grilled taste - which is a defining characteristic for the regular Whopper - was almost too overpowering to be matched with the plant-based patty.

It is quite thin, but held together without crumbling.

Although plenty of satisfied reviewers have branded this meal as just like the real thing, I have to disagree.

I don't think I'll be swapping my regular Whopper order for this option in a hurry.

Next up was Boojum's vegan burrito bowl, for €7.65.

I found the meal to be the most favourable meat-free option available out of the line-up.

Vegan-friendly menu options that can be added to the bowl include sweet potato and lentils, which can be served with vegan sour cream, guacamole and pickled onions.

Boojum also offers Mexican spiced butternut squash and three-bean chilli as meat alternatives.

For my burrito bowl, I tried the sweet potato and lentil topping, with Mexican rice, guacamole, vegetables and sweet corn.

I loved this option.

With every bite, my taste buds were left tingling at the familiar creamy, cool taste of guacamole, that just about manages to neutralise the spice of Mexican rice.

I didn't feel as though I was eating an imitation of another dish.

I think this vegan offering will now become a favourite order for me.

Finally, I tried KFC's Zero Chicken Burger, which costs €6.70 and is only available on Just Eat in January.

For this, KFC replaced a regular chicken fillet with a Quorn alternative.

The fillet is topped with KFC's vegan mayonnaise and includes all the Colonel's regular herbs and spices.

The Zero Chicken burger is a fantastic vegan offering. It looks similar to a regular chicken fillet burger and the flavour isn't far off the original version either.

Although the Quorn fillet tastes slightly dry, the herbs and spices combined with the vegan mayonnaise was enough to keep me wanting to take another bite of this offering.

Irish Independent