It took a solid ten minutes of psyching myself up before I could even take the first bite. And that was after double (and triple) checking with the waitress that this was, in fact, the vegan option. I understand that you may be reading this and thinking “get a grip, it’s just a burger”. And I’m sure half of the people in the restaurant were thinking exactly that as they saw my inner turmoil spill out at the poor waitress who had the (dis)pleasure of serving me.
“The Impossible Burger is where food meets science and the result is simply mind-blowing”
But allow me to paint the scene for you… It was a sunny day in New York and after trekking around Greenwich village to work up an appetite, we arrived at Bareburger, with rumbling tummies and an eagerness to try the infamous veggie burger that bleeds
. Arriving only days after this specific chain had started serving the burger, it seemed, dare I say it, almost like fate.
So, what’s all the fuss about? Well, the Impossible Burger, which is currently only served at a select few locations in America, has taken years to create and features elements that are unlike virtually any other veggie burger on the market. The most notable of which is that this is a meat-free burger that bleeds. Concerned? Well, you’re not alone there. But there’s no need to panic just yet; after five years of research, Impossible Foods found a way to create a meat alternative that mimics the flavour, texture, smell and look of real beef without the need to harm any animals. That’s the dream, surely?
“The Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water and creates 87% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than beef”
There’s a compound in beef called heme, which looks and tastes like blood and is the main driver for all the other aroma compounds that create the distinctive flavour of a beef burger. However, heme isn’t exclusive to animals; neuroscientists at Impossible Foods discovered that they could extract the compound from soy beans and use it to create a terrifyingly authentic taste and appearance without the need for actual meat. Add in wheat protein to mimic the fleshy texture, potato proteins for a crispy exterior when seared and flakes of deodorised coconut oil to create that satisfying sizzle and you have the foundations for a deliciously meaty – yet meat-free – burger.
We’ve touched on how it was made but the real question is what does it actually taste like? Well, it is:
And so much more. But the best part? Compared to actual beef, making the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water and creates 87% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. If you’re not already sold, then it might be worth noting that it’s made using all-natural ingredients – that means it’s 100% free of hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients. It’s no wonder that so many people are going mad over it!
According to the restaurant manager at the Bareburger where we tried it, 90% of the tables they served each day were ordering the Impossible Burger, which goes to show that for vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, this burger means business. It may not be for everyone and we completely understand how the concept may be off-putting or seem unnecessary to some but overall this is what I would deem an exceptional feat for science, veganism and flavour. And the next time I can get my hands on one, I won’t waste my time fretting, I’ll sink my teeth right in!