A 'beefbeat' is the edible portion of a mutant strain of common beetroot. Aside from its unique flavor and texture as a food item, the beefbeets' recent rise in market value stems from the fact that the oil-laden taproot is a prime candidate for use as fuel Biosynthesis feedstock.
Beefbeets visually resemble normal beet plants until pulled. The taproot of a beefbeet is notably larger and more misshapen than that of a normal beetroot, often being shaped more like a mamalian heart than the symmetrical bulb of its ancestor plant. All parts of the plant have a vaguely spicy aroma and flavor to them, a property that can be enhanced with the addition of salt, onions, and other seasonings when cooking.
History & Usage
Beefbeets were first created aboard the Northwoods Botanical Research Facility as a product of atomic gardening techniques used on regular garden beets. The resultant mutant strain had reduced fecundity - consigning the species mostly to cultivation in agri-mines and other controlled environments - but also caused the plant to over-produce certain proteins and, importantly, useful oils (see Industrial Use). The introduction of savory, meaty flavors and textures (see Common Use) was a happy side-effect of this research. The plant now breeds truly - if slowly - in many gardens throughout the Manifold Sky.
The name of the beefbeet derives from the vaguely meaty flavor and texture of the plant when grilled or pan-seared in its own oils, properties which make it an appealing meat substitute in the places where it can be grown but space for animal agriculture is limited. Beefbeets lend themselves well to spicy dishes, where the natural sugars can help temper the sharp taste of peppers. Ground beefbeet is growing in popularity as a filling for faux sausages, imparting a sweet, mild chorizo flavor to dishes.
The specific mutation induced in beefbeets (see Discovery) has caused them to overproduce certain plant oils. The oils and sugars of beefbeets can be separated through processing to create feedstocks for biodiesel and ethanol production. Beefbeet oil can also be chemically processed to create lubricants, preservatives, and anti-corrosive coatings. The colorants found in beefbeets are useful as food-safe pigments and wood stains, though the bolder flavor of the cultivar may change the flavor profile of foods that come into contact with its products. Beefbeets can be used as a pH indicator in the same way as their garden beet forbearers.
Trade & Market
Beefbeets are still relatively new to the world and, thus, uncommon even if rising in prevalence. Originally a cultivar proprietary to the Voxelia Academy of Sciences due to where they were created (see Discovery), beefbeets eventually made their way into select Voxelian wholesaler markets and, through a combination of smuggling and grey market sales, eventually found their way to the Coalition states and even Petalcap Vale. This spread was detrimental to international trade, as now the slow-growing beefbeets tend to be produced for local or regional consumption rather than for export.
Sweet, meaty, mildly spicy
As beetroot (but see Physical Characteristics)