Ethan Brown held up one of his ready-to-eat vegetarian chicken strips and peeled off stringy strands that mimicked the moist meat of the real thing.
"That's the beauty. That's absolutely everything," said Brown, founder of Beyond Meat, admiring the filaments of faux chicken at a cafe near the company's El Segundo headquarters.
The company gets close to creating that authentic but elusive texture by blasting soy and pea proteins through an alternating cascade of high heat and high pressure in a stainless steel machine.
The result is mock meat that replicates the genuine product enough to make people forget the tastes of springy tofu turkey, MSG-laden veggie...