While I love exploring mountains, canyons, forests, and vistas- food adventures have a special place in my heart. A co-worker told me about the Impossible Burger, and I immediately added it to my "Must-Try's in SF" list. First things first, what makes the Impossible Burger, well, impossible?
If you've seen any of my plant-based posts- then you've probably already guessed that I didn't go out seeking any ol' Quarter Pounder. The Impossible Burger is vegan, but is distinct from other veggie burgers in that it “bleeds”, and has a weirdly realistic meaty texture.
Here are my thoughts, and some FAQ's:
Was it tasty?
💯💯💯! The burger texture was true to reviews- and I would not have been able to distinguish it from a meat burger. Take this with a grain of salt as I haven't had a beef patty in at least 2 years. In any case, it was both juicy, and just chewy enough. The flavors were also on point. Perfectly savory without being overly salty- complemented well, but simply by aioli, avocado, caramelized onions, tomato, and lettuce, on a potato bun. The burger apparently gets the meat-like taste mainly from heme, a molecule found in hemoglobin (a component of blood), as well as in certain plants. "Potatoes are used for the crunchy exterior, and coconut oil for its fat."
Admittedly, I may have set myself up to enjoy the burger. One of my oldest friends was visiting from out of town, and she dressed me up and slapped some lipstick on me before we ventured to a fancy French restaurant named Jardinière that was way out of my price range. So, this burger had to be worth it.
My co-worker mentioned having to share a burger with his girlfriend when he came to try the burger, because it was requested so much that the restaurant ran out. Kailyn and I went on a Wednesday, so the wait at Jardinière was not long. Being the bougie place that it is, the service was both helpful and friendly, and the decor gave you dim, fancy vibes.
Is it worth $19?
If you’re a self-proclaimed food adventurer like me, I’d say yes. Once. The scarcity and innovative nature of the patty made it feel like a treasure to be sought out. I’ve always thought about cooking as a very magical, scientific process- and wanted to experience the result of this one. To taste how close we’ve been able to get to fulfilling people’s desire for meat with significantly less environmentally and health impact- made the sandwich all the more enjoying.
According to the Impossible Foods site:
"Because we use 0% cows, the Impossible Burger... uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. And it’s 100% free of hormones, antibiotics, and artificial ingredients.
I say “once", purely because of the price range. I’d settle for other veggie burgers to save my coins.
Is it healthier?
In addition to the lack of hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients, we can also take a look at cholesterol. The impossible patty has 0 mg of cholesterol in comparison to 100mg in a lean beef patty. It also has less overall fat and is slightly less calorie heavy. The protein and iron content are comparable, but the Impossible Burger does have significantly more sodium. Red meat has been associated with heart disease for a while now given the cholesterol, but use the nutrition information and consider your body’s needs when deciding if veggie patties would be better for you!
Here are some more FAQ’s from the Impossible Foods website, but check out their site for more!
WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOODS?
Founded by Patrick O. Brown, M.D., Ph.D., Impossible Foods is a Silicon Valley startup on a mission to make the global food system more sustainable. The fast-growing team includes scientists, engineers, chefs, farmers and foodies. The first product is the Impossible Burger. It tastes great -- and you can feel great about it because the Impossible Burger is made entirely from plants.
WHAT EXACTLY IS IT MADE OF?
The Impossible Burger is made from simple ingredients found in nature, including wheat, coconut oil and potatoes. We add one more special ingredient, called “heme.” Heme contributes to the characteristic color and taste of meat, and it catalyzes all the other flavors when meat is cooked. Heme is exceptionally abundant in animal muscle -- and it’s a basic building block of life in all organisms, including plants. We discovered how to take heme from plants and produce it using fermentation -- similar to the method that’s been used to make Belgian beer for nearly a thousand years. Adding heme to the Impossible Burger makes it a carnivore’s delight.
Full Ingredient List:
Water, Textured Wheat Protein, Coconut Oil, Potato Protein, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Leghemoglobin (soy), Yeast Extract, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Konjac Gum, Xanthan Gum, Thiamin (Vitamin B1), Zinc, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12.
CAN I BUY THE IMPOSSIBLE BURGER?
The Impossible Burger is only available in select restaurants in the United States. We are currently focusing on wider availability in the US and will be available internationally in the coming years.