As I was going through the options to order my Pizza Hut Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza online, I thought about getting an order with half regular Italian sausage and half Beyond Italian sausage to compare.
But then I thought, “How will I know which is which if they’re supposed to be alike?” Also, I thought, “Why would I do this?” It’s not as if I don’t know what Pizza Hut’s Italian sausage tastes like. I’ve eaten my current body weight in it over my lifetime, so I’m pretty sure I know what it tastes like. So I went all in with the meat substitute.
The pizza features Pizza Hut’s usual cheese, sauce, and crust, but it’s topped with Beyond Meat’s plant-based Italian sausage. The meat substitute company has planted it plant-based flag in several fast food products over the past two years from Dunkin’, Carl’s Jr., and Del Taco.
After picking it up, the first thing I noticed was how it didn’t smell like a Pizza Hut pizza with Italian sausage. Even during my trip home in an enclosed 2003 Toyota Corolla and after peeling back the box’s lid when I got home, my nose couldn’t sense the familiar aroma of spices.
While it lacks the aroma that accompanies Italian sausage, it certainly looks the part. I could even see dried rosemary peeking through some of the chunks. Wait. Is that dried rosemary or a tiny sunflower seed?
Update: I have been told on Twitter that it’s a fennel seed.
As for the flavor, I found the plant-based Italian sausage to be noticeably less flavorful than The Hut’s regular Italian sausage. All the right seasonings are there, but at 70-80 percent potency of the regular version’s flavor. But if I wasn’t someone who has eaten my body weight Pizza Hut Italian sausage, I probably wouldn’t have noticed a difference, especially when it’s swimming on top of cheese and sauce.
What was even more noticeable was the texture of the sausage substitute. Compared with the regular stuff, the pieces were slightly dried out after being in Pizza Hut’s proprietary super ovens. Also, and I don’t know if this has anything to do with what I mentioned above, the plant-based sausage seems a lot less greasy.
Despite the lack of aroma, being less flavorful, and having a slightly dried out texture, I enjoyed the Pizza Hut Beyond Italian Sausage. I guess all those issues aren’t complete dealbreakers to me. Although I recognize that for some (or many) of you, they might be.
How I feel about this is the same as how I feel about the Impossible Whopper. It’s not as good as the original, but it’s good enough that I’d order it again. At this time, I don’t expect plant-based meats to equal the real stuff, but I do expect it to come close, which this does.
Purchased Price: $16.99*
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Not available at time of publication.
*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.
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