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After I heard {that a} new Chick-fil-A cauliflower sandwich was being test-marketed in my space, I marked my calendar and waited for it to drop. The controversial quick meals chain is asking it a plant-forward “stunt double” for its traditional hen sandwich.

I’m a plant-based omnivore. Most of my meals are vegetarian, however I received’t flip down a sprinkle of bacon on something. This cauliflower factor sounded proper up my alley.

The Presentation:

The Chick-fil-A in my neighborhood has notoriously lengthy strains so I waited a number of days after the February 13 drop for any hubbub to die down. Then I positioned an order for a late dinner. After I opened the foil-lined bag, I wasn’t certain I’d gotten the correct order. I used to be anticipating the superbly symmetrical disk form of most veggie patties. This one appeared precisely just like the chain’s traditional fried hen breast. That’s as a result of the cauliflower wasn’t chopped up and reformed right into a generic patty form. As an alternative, you get a whole, unadulterated slice of the vegetable—a thick filet that, just like the hen, is marinated, coated in a seasoned breading, and pressure-cooked in sizzling oil. The filet is served on the chain’s signature buttered toasted bun with two pickle slices, so this isn’t solely plant ahead however carb ahead. Not that there’s something improper with that.

The Expertise:

I took a chew. The cauliflower was cooked simply previous the feel of a crisp-steamed vegetable, however to not the purpose of mushiness. Which means you get a chew, however not a crunch. The cauliflower falls into shreds the best way an extra-tender piece of hen would possibly, though it’s not pretending to be meat, and albeit, I respect that.

The Style:

The shock was the seasoning. Whereas this appears to be like like Chick-fil-A’s traditional sandwich with its easy breading, the cauliflower model has slightly additional warmth. It isn’t aggressive, however there’s sufficient of a “pow” to shock your style buds. This provides curiosity to the clean slate that’s cauliflower.

The Query:

Who’s it for? Whereas the corporate describes the sandwich as “vegetarian pleasant,” it’s not strictly vegetarian. As a result of it’s fried in what stands out as the similar peanut oil that the hen is fried in and is made in services that additionally prep meat, they will’t assure that it’s 100% vegetarian. And it’s positively not vegan because the breading consists of milk. It’s fried, so it’s not for the health-obsessed crowd.

The Verdict:

The cauliflower sandwich is sweet—good taste, good texture, simply the correct amount of warmth. And it satisfies a craving for decent, fried quick meals.

It’s not higher than Chick-fil-A’s signature sandwich, nonetheless. So after I roll as much as the drive-through menu, I would purchase the vegetable sandwich if I need a mild meal, although it might then be competing with their salads. The cauliflower simply doesn’t have the heft of the hen sandwich for anybody who has an urge for food.

A Suggestion:

However I’ve a superb concept for what Chick-fil-A might do as an alternative: Break the cauliflower into beneficiant florets, dunk them in that spicy coating, and fry them up. These plant-forward nuggets would make a terrific aspect to go along with your traditional sandwich.

The Chick-fil-A cauliflower sandwich will likely be out there in Denver, Charleston, and North Carolina’s Greensboro-Triad area by Might 20 or whereas provides final.