PHOENIX, Ariz. — It’s being known as the veggie burger that bleeds and sizzles just like real meat. If you’re a vegetarian or a meat-lover, get ready for the “Impossible Burger.”
Once we found out about it, we had to sink our teeth into all the juicy details.
First, we had to track down the burger.
One of the first places in the Valley to carry the Impossible Burger is right off the light rail, on Central Avenue and Adams Street.
The Counter, which is known for its custom burgers, is where we taste tested this plant-based protein. It was newly added to its menu just last month.
“Sales were slow to start,” says General Manager Sean Silverman. “But then we started getting call after call and it started taking over chicken sales as our second number one selling protein.”
So, what’s all the buzz about? There’s a strange science behind this burger made entirely of plants.
According to the California-based company’s website, Impossible Foods, it has dedicated five years to studying the taste in burgers we crave so much and where that flavor comes from.
In several online interviews, Impossible Foods explains that it comes from a substance in meat called “heme.”
Their scientists isolated heme in soy plants and then engineered it in high quantities through yeast in wheat.
Combined with all-natural ingredients, such as potatoes and coconut oil … voila, you get the Impossible Burger!
The burger has the consistency of red meat.
“It’s a burger that looks like beef, cooks like beef, tastes like beef, but completely made from plants,” says Silverman.
Several folks we met at The Counter who ordered the Impossible Burger told us the burger “formerly known as plants” surpassed their expectations.
“It’s got a meaty flavor and it’s got all the consistency I would expect with a beef burger but totally vegan, it was awesome,” says Joe DeRomanis.
“If you hadn’t told me that it wasn’t beef, I think I would assume that it was,” Emily Goret tells us.
We had to give it a taste test ourselves and we agree. It doesn’t quite have that taste of beef you might be used to, but as far as veggie burgers go, it is the best vegan burger we’ve ever had.
But, for the company, it’s more than just giving burger connoisseurs a meatless option. This meat has a mission to be good for people and the planet. Impossible Foods states that “relying on cows to make meat is land-hungry, water-thirsty, and pollution-heavy.”
Now, the company has released a vegan cheese and it’s taking its products to universities, company cafes and school cafeterias.
If you’re intrigued, there’s also a way for you to demand the burger at your favorite restaurant, and as the company proclaims, you can “be a local hero,” by bringing more of this meatless meat to market.