With some creative engineering, Burger King has created the surprisingly pleasant Impossible Whopper.
Either for environmental concerns or to serve those with a vegetarian lifestyle, plant based burgers are becoming increasingly popular. Hard Rock Cafe, White Castle, The Cheesecake Factory, Carl’s Jr, TGI Fridays, Red Robin, and Burger King have all debuted their own form of an “impossible burger.” Many other restaurants have different forms of plant based ‘meat,’ such as Qdoba’s Impossible Tacos or Little Caesars’ Impossible Supreme Pizza (only served in Florida and New Mexico as of now). After hearing both positive and negative reviews from family and friends about the Impossible Whopper from Burger King, I decided to try one myself.
I went to the west side Burger King and used the drive through to order. Six dollars and sixty-one cents later, I had my Impossible Whopper. I ordered it without lettuce, tomato, pickle or onion so it would be easier to taste the burger itself. I ended up with a sesame seed bun, the “meat,” cheese, mayo, and ketchup. I lifted the top bun off of the burger for a visual inspection. The meat looked more like a perfect circle, as if someone traced it around the bottom of a can. It didn’t look nearly as moist as a regular Whopper, it appeared dry.
I took my first bite. Other than being somewhat dry, I honestly wouldn’t have known whether I was eating red meat or plant based meat if I hadn’t ordered it myself. The texture was very similar to red meat, the plant patty was convincing–but not as savory as red meat. The burger obviously wasn’t as beautiful as the photos on their website, but it was enjoyable and fairly flavorful in my opinion. Eating the burger led me to wonder what the actual ingredients were.
According to The Spoon, a food reviewing site,
Impossible patties contain wheat protein, coconut oil, potato protein and their ace in the hole: heme. An iron-containing compound found in blood, heme is what gives red meat that rich, umami taste. Scientists have found a way to extract heme from plants, which they hope will give their burgers a magic meatiness missing in so many veggie burgers.
Comparing the Whopper and Impossible Whopper using nutritional facts basically results in a toss up. The only differences are that the Impossible Whopper has no trans fat and only 10mg of cholesterol, whereas the Whopper has 1.5g of trans fat and 90mg of cholesterol.
Many hardcore vegetarians may not consider this as a serious option, as the burger has mayo on it which contains eggs, contradictory to some vegetarian diets. Additionally, the impossible meat is prepared on the same grill as red meat, according to Burger King.
My experience with the Impossible Whopper was pleasant. I probably wouldn’t order another one, but I had no problem trying it out for the first time. Personally, I would prefer red meat. Whether you prefer plant a plant patty or a hamburger patty, one thing is for sure: the latter is becoming much more prevalent in the food industry.