Whether you’re a vegan, an omnivore, or swear by steak, it’s impossible not to notice the rise in plant-based grocery products. This new wave of veggie-friendly foods goes beyond the lentils and tofu of yore—today’s vegan foods are sophisticated concoctions, made to look, taste, and even “behave” like meat.
You may be familiar with meat-free patties like the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger. These two brands have big-time name recognition, with many restaurants across the country using them in veggie-approved menu items. (Burger King, for example, offers an Impossible Whopper, and you can now get a Beyond breakfast sammie at Dunkin’).
But with many of us eating the majority of our meals at home, there’s been a shift away from ready-made patties and with all the fixin’s. Now, brands are offering faux meat products that behave just like ground beef, pork, or chicken, so we can whip up vegetarian chilis, tacos, and meatballs in our own kitchens. And Beyond and Impossible aren’t the only players in the game: Even IKEA, the maker of some of the most famous meatballs in the world, is now offering a plant-based meat alternative for home cooking.
Here's What You Need to Know about Världsklok
I’m an omnivore who loves veggies, so I couldn’t wait to try IKEA’s Världsklok (translated to “World-wise,” the Världsklok is meant to taste and cook up like ground beef). I scored a couple of bags, which are sold in IKEA’s frozen foods section for $9.99, and put them to the test.
I’d previously tried IKEA’s ready-made plant-based meatballs—called Huvudroll—and loved them. The pre-made meatballs are super savory, with a sweet undertone, thanks to oats and apples in the mix. In contrast, the Världsklok has a more neutral flavor palate, which makes it perfect for adding to your own recipes. There’s an impressive amount of protein in each serving—11 grams of pea-based protein for 4 ounces—and a modest amount of sodium. (I’ve tried frozen foods with a lot more than 450 milligrams per serving.) But how does it taste? And is it easy to cook with? I did some experiments with the 1.6-pound bag to find out.
My Review of IKEA's New Plant-Based Meat
I split the package into two separate portions, so I could sauté half and use the other half for burger patties. I’ll cut to the chase: Världsklok tastes really delicious. It’s savory, and has a distinctly meaty texture. Världsklok is also satisfyingly hearty however you cook it. In my opinion, it performs best as burgers, meatballs, and patties. The binding agents in the ingredients help it stick together well, so you won’t experience any crumbling, whether you sear, grill, or roast your dinner.
On the flip side, because it was so adhesive, I found it sticking to my wooden spoon as I sautéed my batch of crumbles for tacos. I did have to use a helper spoon to scrape off the sticky bits, which wasn’t a dealbreaker—but also wasn’t something I experience when sautéeing beef. It did brown beautifully, though, which I consider to be one of the most important factors in cooking ground meat on the stovetop.
Would I use the Världsklok again? Absolutely. In fact, it’s the first item on my IKEA wish list.