May 26, 2016 01:17 PM

Beyond Meat

Meat substitutes are rarely convincing as meat — have you ever had a veggie burger you mistook for beef? — but Beyond Burger is changing the game.

The plant-based, ground, meat-like product is meant to mimic the texture and flavor of ground beef, and people are buying like crazy. Beyond Burger made its retail debut yesterday at a Whole Foods in Boulder, Colorado … and then sold out in just one hour, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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The patty, which is gluten and soy-free, contains 20 grams of vegetable protein, and when you prick it, pulverized beet juice “bleeds” out, mimicking ground red meat. And they’re pretty convincing:

Creating a meat-like, plant-based burger was tricky.

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“It’s hard to reduce flavor and aroma to an equation, particularly when you need a solution that is simple and flexible,” structural biologist Joseph Puglisi, told The New York Times.  “We were able to get fat distributed throughout a patty — but in meat, fat is distributed in sheets. Plants don’t have ligaments.”

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The burgers cost $5.99 for a pack of two patties and will likely expand outside of Colorado over the summer unfortunately, not in time for Memorial Day grilling.

— Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

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