Written by Daniel Seigel
Please allow me some of your time here. I read on the news a few days ago that #ImpossibleFoods had contracted with #BurgerKing to supply the “#ImpossibleBurger” to all 2700 of its locations. After reading how IF had crafted ground-beef quality soy patties—using an ingenious method of producing heme (which makes for the metallic, iron ‘bloody’ taste of real beef) from yeast, of all things—I thought, I should find a way to try this new beef substitute. I don’t expect alt-meat to take over the steak section, but if we found a substitute for ground beef, we could considerably slow climate change through massively fewer farms…but that’s not the point here.
On to the Impossible Whopper. First of all, let me say this: considering how grilled-to-hell all fast food burger meat usually is, I must admit that I can’t tell the difference. Maybe there’s a slightly velvety texture to this alt-meat? But flavor and color and overall mouthfeel are pretty much the same. I would imagine BK could replace every patty this this meat substitute and no one would be the wiser. Good job, Impossible Foods.
But here’s the kicker. Burger King is F@$!cking awful. The BK I visited looked like it had been renovated about the time the Spin Doctors broke their debut hit, “Two Princes.” My eyes searched for the health rating: 94? Really? I had doubts. The drive-thru attendant hadn’t washed her shirt in days—years? time is a flat circle?—and had no idea what my order had been. A #3 with cheese, medium and a coke, I reminded her. I get my bag a few minutes later, and my Sprite. Wait. Hand that back. Get my Coke. I munched on the fries in the car because I’m not a mature adult. They were clearly potato-based, and tasted as such. No salt, and only slightly crispy in places. Not the worst fries I’ve ever had, but probably the second-worst (here’s looking at you, In-n-Out).
But then came the Whopper. The bun was attractive, which is good because it seemed the burger was almost completely bread. There was a sneak of “beef” sticking out the front end, and upon inspection, someone had crammed a house elf size handful of lettuce, pickles, and condiments into the middle of the burger. The cheese, you can see, was apparently from one of the cooks’ Lunchables snack pack. And it tasted about as delicious as it looks. Which led me to the question: does anyone eat at Burger King? I mean, clearly they’re still in business, and Impossible Foods chose them for a reason, but….really?? Do any of you like BK? Or am I right in assuming the best thing about the chain is the King commercials from about 5 years ago? What a shame that the introduction of a really passable alt-meat sandwich has to come in the guise of a “burger” that would make Krystal seem like Chez FonFon (google that burger).