I haven’t had a hamburger grease my taste buds in over three years. Giving up beef was a personal choice I made after watching a news report featuring a skinny, dirty, shaking-from-fear cow just stand in the middle of a busy intersection after it escaped from a slaughterhouse in Queens, New York. QUEENS?! I had no idea there were slaughterhouses in Queens.
I went out with some friends for beer-and-burger night the following day, but when the server placed a big, fat, juicy burger smothered in BBQ sauce and topped with an onion ring in front of me, I couldn’t eat it. All I saw was the poor, frightened cow in the middle of the concrete jungle. I ended up having a beer and garden salad night instead.
Still, just because I no longer eat beef doesn’t mean I don’t miss it. I mean, just think about it: steak, hamburgers, pot roast. They’re all delicious and I know it. I just can’t bring myself to do it. So when Burger King started to market their Impossible Whopper, a Whopper made with a fake meat patty that supposedly tasted just like the real thing, it got my taste buds in an uproar.
Could I really have a non-burger-burger and it would to taste like a REAL hamburger? I had to try this. A big part of the intrigue was that I missed hamburgers more than anything. I mean, burgers have become a culinary art these days thanks to the zillions of artisenal ingredients and accouterments chefs add to them, and when a server walks past me in a restaurant and there’s a burger on that tray, I find myself wishing I had never seen that cow news report. (Side note: that cow is now named Freddie and he lives peacefully at the Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue in Wantage, New Jersey.)
I’ve tried to curb my burger cravings by stuffing my mouth with black bean or quinoa burgers, but those can only curb the craving for so long. They just aren’t the same, mostly because THEY TASTE NOTHING LIKE A HAMBURGER.
So, the other day I headed over to the self-proclaimed king of burgers and ordered myself an Impossible Burger. After reading all the buzz and social media posts about taste tests, I had high hopes for this thing.
I unwrapped that burger like it was Christmas morning and took a bite. I immediately began to panic, though, and pulled the burger away from my mouth. It tasted so much like the Whopper I remember from my meat eating days that I thought they gave me the wrong one. This has got to be a beef patty, I thought. I’m for sure going to get an upset stomach and be in the bathroom all night.
I began to inspect it. I studied it, smelled it, and then smashed a piece between my fingers. The texture was definitely different than I remember of ground beef. Could this really be the Impossible?
I took another bite. I tasted the flame grilled flavor, but I also tasted beef. I looked at my receipt and the wrapper. Both clearly stated “Impossible Whopper.” As a matter of fact, the wrapper for the Impossible Burger is a vibrant teal color, which is much different from a standard Whopper wrapper. I’m assuming it’s a teal color so they don’t give customers the wrong Whopper by mistake.
I finished my Impossible Whopper and then waited nervously for a rumble in my tummy, but it never came. I must have been given the correct burger. And if that was truly the case – and I have no evidence otherwise – then that dang thing tasted like a REAL beef Whopper, and Burger King has made the impossible, possible.