The Impossible Burger
Intriguing. When you think about it, that isn’t a word that you would normally associate with food. You might think, ‘wow, this is intriguing’ at first, but after some thought, you’d find a better-suited word. Sometimes for better and often for worse, we have a tendency to give more credit than is due when it comes to food. Just think about the hysteria that erupts when well-known foods (such as poke and ramen) are brought to areas where the population aren’t familiar with them. Hysteria.
Then, there are the few times that you really are truly intrigued by what you’re eating. The thought of it is so complex, so mesmerizing that you can’t help but learn more about it. And no, we’re not talking about a sushirito here (aka a sushi burrito) or any other nonsensical scheme to be different, cool, or earn money fast–we’re talking about the true gems out there.
We’ve lived off Morningstar for years, and tried endless vegan proteins in an effort to be more conscious of what we eat. For us, it’s more of an ethical issue than a health concern. We try to avoid unnecessary slaughter and minimize our negative impact on the environment. We’re extremely familiar with non-meat proteins, but we had never been exposed to a non-meat-meat protein… until last year.
I’ll admit it, I drafted this article in early November, 2017. At that time, we heard that the legendary Impossible Burger was going to make its first appearance in one of our favorite LA-based chains, which is The Counter. We’d actually had the Impossible Burger at a different LA-based chain that we’re not so fond of, and while we enjoyed it, we weren’t blown away. It wasn’t until we experienced the proper application to this “protein” that we were blown away.
As you can see from the pictures, my “burger” is caramelized, with a beautiful brown layer of crunch on the outside, but a cook that resembles medium on the inside. How could this even be possible without using meat? Well, according to the folks from Impossible Burger, their burger IS meat. They just have a different way of thinking about meat, which really intrigued us, so we wanted to find out more.
Patrick Brown (MD, PHD) is the man behind the Impossible Burger at Impossible Foods and his approach was beyond cerebral. He led a team that figured out how to make a burger using 95% less land, 87% lower greenhouse gas emissions, and 74% less water. With protein from wheat and potatoes, fat from coconuts, and flavor from heme, which comes from plants and is also abundant in cows, giving beef its unmistakable meaty flavor, they probably spent a ton of money in the process of creating their masterpiece.
So here I am, struggling to finish an Impossible Burger and an Impossible Burger Salad, floored by the fact that this “fake meat” meat can be so damn filling. But, I’m even more boggled by the fact that these folk call their burgers meat and have no interest competing with Morningstar Farms for the freezer space in my house. Instead they’re competing with USDA Beef when I’m ordering at a steakhouse. Now THAT is intriguing food. Eat an Impossible Burger to stay hungry and fit!