Stop What You're Doing And Go Try The Impossible Whopper

If you haven’t tried the Impossible Whopper yet, forget what you were going to make for dinner tonight and head to your nearest Burger King. This meatless alternative for the American fast food classic is impossibly delicious. It tastes so much like the real thing that I thought for sure they made a mistake and gave me an original Whopper the first time I had one.

The Impossible Whopper is flame-grilled like the real deal, and has the same glorious toppings and sesame seed bun as the original. The sandwich can also be easily converted to a vegan option, if you order it without the cheese and mayonnaise.

Just to let the record show, we now have a clear winner in the famous McDonald’s versus Burger King debate. Even the fries at McDonald’s aren’t vegetarian, as they’re cooked in beef fat, let alone any of the sandwiches. Your only meatless lunch or dinner options at McDonald’s are some pretty sad salads. Plus, in my humble opinion, Burger King’s Oreo shake is way tastier than the Oreo McFlurry.

But back to the task on hand, The Impossible Burger. The patty is 100% plant-based, but it’s not your ordinary vegetarian burger option. Impossible Foods used a scientific approach to create a meatless product that tastes, looks, smells and even feels in its texture, exactly like meat. 

If you’re a vegetarian, odds are you’ve tried all the usual burger substitutes: Veggie, black bean, quinoa, tofu, portobello mushroom. But they’re just not the same as a real burger, and often not even close. This makes sense, because a black bean and a cow are two very different things. 

Impossible Foods went to the heart of the equation and figured out the secret ingredient in meat that makes us love it so much. It's called "heme," and it's an iron-containing molecule that is essential to all living things. In animals, heme is carried by proteins like hemoglobin and myoglobin. Since soy plants are living things too, they also have heme, and its carried by their legume hemoglobin. Impossible Foods extracts the heme from legume hemoglobin in soy plants, and there you have it: plant meat.

But the Impossible Whopper is more than just delicious: it’s proof that vegetarianism is finally permeating mainstream American food culture. Obviously, Burger King isn’t the place you would go in search of a gourmet burger, and that’s exactly why the Impossible Whopper is a big step for the American vegetarian industry. 

Historically, going meatless has been a privilege of the middle and upper classes - those who can afford to opt for higher-end chains and independently-owned restaurants over fast food, or those who have the time in their day to prepare home-cooked meals. 

Fast food restaurants are disproportionately patronized by minorities, the working-class and those who live at or below the poverty line. And now thanks to Burger King, the people in these demographics have an affordable, accessible way to try an Impossible Burger when they likely didn’t have that opportunity before.

It’s not like every person in the country is now going to buy an Impossible Whopper every single time they want fast food, but it’s still a big step in the right direction. It always seemed to me like America’s infatuation with meat was an impervious, immovable fixture in American food culture. Burger King and Impossible Foods are proving that we can slowly chip away at the unethical, unsustainable industries supporting mainstream eating habits.

Burger King plans to make the Impossible Whopper a permanent item on their menu by next year, but current availability is reportedly still part of a trial period. So get on over to Burger King and try it out while supplies last.

Let’s make sure they generate enough revenue throughout the trial period to stick to their word of keeping it on their menu! Because now that I've tasted meatless Whopper perfection, I don't think that I could live without it.


Image credit: Noelle Abrahams