This past May, we blogged about the fascinating Impossible Whopper, a totally vegetarian burger made of textured soy and plant-based heme. That last is the molecule that makes blood red and provides meat with much of its juicy flavor. At the time, Impossible Foods had just introduced its version of the classic Whopper at 61 Burger King locations in St. Louis, Missouri, and the reviews were very favorable. Most consumers were reporting that the Impossible Whoppers were indistinguishable from the regular beef Whoppers.
Now that Impossible Whoppers have been rolled out to other areas, I've been able to taste-test one … and based on previous consumption of beef Whoppers, this happy blogger can confirm that they really are indistinguishable, as far as I can tell. The look, mouth-feel, texture, flavor, and juiciness was Whopper standard, at least with the standard tomatoes, pickles, onions, lettuce, and mayo piled on. I must admit I haven't tried a plain-and-dry Impossible Whopper, but then, I haven't tried a regular Whopper that way, either. The vegetation and sauce are part of the experience!
The Impossible Whopper is unflinchingly vegetarian, though some have complained because it's prepared on the same cooking lines as the non-vegetarian Whopper. In combination with PETA accusations of animal testing, this may preclude it from vegan status. But after eating it and raving about the authentic flavor, I was reminded that because the Whopper was made completely with vegetable protein:
- ·I didn't contribute to the slaughter of a large animal that endured horrible suffering.
- ·I didn't contribute to global warming as a result of methane gas produced by said beast.
- ·I didn't contribute to the use of thousands of gallons of water to raise that animal.
- ·I didn't contribute to unsustainable ranching practices.
- ·I didn't contribute to the habitat destruction and environmental degradation caused by those practices.
Sometimes, what you don't do is as important as what you do; and when you can combine all that with great flavor to ensure you maintain those "don'ts," you've got a winning combination that should be included on every product label for Impossible Burgers, and every custom printed sticker used to seal an Impossible Whopper wrapper.
We've had vegetarian burgers for many years. Now we have one that has the meaty flavor that tempts some vegetarians back to meat, so they're less likely to give into temptation. And that's pretty neat.