A startup just announced the world’s first fake-meat “steaks” made from fungi. Are we ready?

A new class of fungi-based steaks, cultivated from a fast-growing micro-organism, may be a paradigm-shifting meat alternative. I visited Emergy Foods’ Boulder, Colorado headquarters for a taste.

A Boulder, Colorado-based startup has opened a new frontier in the world of vegan meat replacements. The company, Emergy Foods, announced on Tuesday morning the imminent launch of a brand called Meati Foods—the world’s first line of fungi-based steaks.

At first glance, Emergy appears to be another company jumping on the plant-based bandwagon. Across the food sector, well-financed companies are racing to replicate the taste and texture of animal protein without actually using meat. But this new offering is fundamentally different from Beyond Beef and the Impossible Burger.

While most alt-meat products, from veggie patties to fake-chicken nuggets, approximate the finely minced texture of ground meat, Meati strives to emulate whole animal muscle. The result is geared more toward the steakhouse than the drive-thru. When I visited Emergy headquarters earlier this month—more on that experience in a minute—the product was plated with sautéed string beans and (vegan) mashed potatoes.

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