It’s so meat-like that it makes vegans sick!
This is the Impossible Burger. It was first introduced by Impossible Foods, Inc in 2016. It contains no meat, but the company discovered a way to make its taste and texture just like the real thing:
The burger’s secret ingredient is heme. The company says that heme “is uniquely responsible for the explosion of flavors that result when meat is cooked,” and its scientists figured out a way to produce a heme protein and make it the backbone of its 100% plant-based burger.
Beyond Heme, the other ingredients are pretty basic:
Water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, natural flavors. It’s also gluten-free, and has as much iron and protein as a beef burger — a 4oz patty has 4.2mg iron and 19g protein.
The company launched its Impossible Burger 2.0 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, becoming the first food product ever featured at the convention. The company claims 2.0 is “tastier, juicier and more nutritious – featuring 30% less sodium and 40% less saturated fat than our current recipe and just as much protein as 80/20 ground beef from cows.”
CNET’s Joan Solsman has been vegan for 10 years. She decided to try the burger on its own, not bun or any toppings. It was so real that it made her feel sick:
My stomach started objecting to what was going on in my mouth. “I haven’t had beef in more than a decade,” I said through my mouthful, hoping the disclaimer might mask my growing revulsion. “It’s kind of grossing me out.”
But when she tried the patty as a full burger she was in love:
The very best was the actual burger — with the soft bun, tangy sauce, zesty crunch of barely-there raw onion and refreshing crisp of lettuce and tomato. Combined with the juicy, chewy patty, it tasted amazing because it tasted like a real burger.
A food critic for Thrillist took the 2.0 for a test drive, and he too was amazed:
Topped with salsa fresca, avocado, and a vegan secret sauce, it hit all the same pleasure centers in my body as when I eat a well-made burger at a restaurant. Milliken was right — the chew and umami were on point. I thought the original Impossible was great, but this exceeded my expectations. It even looked like the real thing. Is this fake beef so convincing you could trick a meat eater into believing it’s real? Sure. But if we assume people love burgers simply because they taste good, no trickery is needed.
If you want to find and Impossible Burger for yourself, their site has a location finder. Currently, 2.0 is only in about 20 restaurants but that will be expanding rapidly.
Next, Impossible Foods plans to release whole cuts of “steak” using its Heme technology:
“If we can make an awesomely delicious world-class steak . . . that will be very disruptive not just to the beef industry, but to other sectors of the meat industry.”
The “meat” can be used for much more than just burgers. On their site they list a host of possibilities, from tacos to meatballs to chili cheese fries.
The new vegan sausage rolls that were introduced in the UK rubbed some the wrong way, but if they were made with ‘impossible meats,’ maybe they’d be accepted more by the general population.
Maybe switch the regular sausage rolls with the impossible ones.
Tacos are prime territory for Impossible expansion, if it hasn’t already happened. You can certainly buy meatless crumbles all over the grocery store, but out in public it can harder to find.
If Hardee’s can do it, Taco Bell can do it. Just saying.