First there was the egg, then the chicken (or was it the other way around?). Whichever it was, the chicken nugget — that crust-enveloped chunk of bird that’s become a staple of dinners served on high chairs and in fast-food clamshells across the land — definitely came after that. And now, like a rapper shortening his name, there’s just the nugget, the plant-based version of the familiar, dunkable finger food.
Vegetarian nuggets have been around for years, of course, but there’s a potential disrupter in the game: Tyson Foods, the world’s second-largest poultry processor, recently introduced a new chicken-less line called Raised & Rooted. The nuggets are made with pea protein, the coolest kid at the veggie party these days, and the company claims they’ve got both a “cravingly crispy batter” and a great taste.
The decision to dub such veggie-based products simply “nuggets” is an interesting one. “Nugget” is practically synonymous with chicken — and McDonald’s is the reason.