It sizzles when grilled, and bleeds when bitten into, yet it contains zero traces of meat. High-end restaurants and local burger joints alike have popularized this taste bud tantalizer, appropriately named the Impossible Burger.
The company behind this creation, Impossible Foods, engineered the plant-based burger to combat the potential disaster of a food or resource shortage for the exponentially growing human population, according to the Impossible Foods website. Five years of research led to the discovery of heme, the compound that provides the smell, sizzling and bleeding characteristics of meat. Impossible Foods uses genetically-engineered heme, along with natural ingredients such as wheat, coconut oil and potatoes to create a burger patty that sizzles, bleeds and smells just like meat. The taste, however, is a different story, at least at Gott’s Roadside in Town and Country Village.
From the outside, the burger closely resembles a classic In-N-Out burger, with similar condiments and toppings, such as iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. The patty, however, looks questionable.
Upon first bite, the flavor is pleasant — it seems to taste just like any fast-food chain burger. We were impressed and went to take a second bite, expecting the burger to be equivalent to a quarter pounder in taste and texture. However, we were sadly mistaken, as the second bite of the burger falls limply on our tongue. The taste becomes increasingly complex, with sub flavors of meat, vegetables and quinoa. The taste wasn’t horrible, but for something so expensive, it just wasn’t worth it.
Like the taste, the texture also starts out as expected. However, the feeling of the rubbery burger between our molars is disillusioning; the food is dry yet surprisingly moist and oily.
After trying this burger three times, we rate it 6/10 stars, because of two main aspects: the taste and the price. Compared to other meat and veggie burgers, the price is quite high — and does not match the quality. The burger (at most five inches in diameter) was $11.99, with no add-ons. It left us wishing that we’d opted for five In-N-Out cheeseburgers instead, which we could’ve gotten at the exact same price.
The burger’s appearance is impressively similar to that of a true meat burger, but it is difficult to tell whether or not the taste and texture are also realistic.
The meatless meat would be a great option for people who are considering vegetarianism but are having a difficult time letting go of the taste of true meat, as it can be a middle ground between an omnivorous and vegetarian diet.