I was once a Vegetarian. For 11 years I did not eat meat or meat products of any kind except the occasional sushi. Being a big fan of burgers and fries and steaks, the only thing I missed being a vegetarian was beef.
Back then, there were no reasonable substitution attempts. A mashed yellow disc was called a veggie or garden burger. Sometimes they were made from beans or some other dry grain – and that’s how they behaved on the grill and tasted on the bun: Dry.
Impossible Foods released its new burger product in stores today, but I dipped in to Gelson’s last night to see if by chance they had put it out already. Turns out the early bird gets the plant-based worm because they had it in stock and I bought it.
It was in the Natural-Organic-Vegan section of the Hollywood Hills Gelson’s, a perfect place for “Burger Made From Plants.” It was frozen, but there were plenty still in stock. A 12 oz. package cost $8.99, has 3 servings per package, with 240 calories, 19g of protein and 14g of fat per serving. For comparison, the Beyond Meat ground costs around $10 for a 16oz package, has 4 servings per package, with 250 calories, 20g of protein and 18g of fat per serving.
I let the meat thaw over night in the fridge and got up this morning to make breakfast burger (that’s a regular hamburger eaten at 7 a.m. with coffee).
I made the patties and noticed that the texture was meat-like and some red juices to emulate a “bleeding” burger. I like my burgers medium rare and would have to experiment a bit to get it like that with Impossible burger. Though the cooking time was about the same as regular beef, it came out a little more done than I had wanted.
How’d it taste? Well, like a burger. And as a former-vegetarian-who-missed-cheeseburgers, I mean that as a compliment. It had a nice umami flavor and the texture when eaten was like beef. But that’s what it’s supposed to be. I dare say it would fool a meat eater. I would have been fooled by it.
Right now, you can only get the Impossible Burger from Gelson’s in Southern California. But given how quickly the Impossible Whopper at Burger King expanded nationwide, and how good this tastes, I can imagine that the store bought Impossible Burger will rapidly expand across California and the country as well. Assuming they don’t have another production shortage.
I can recommend buying the Impossible Burger, especially if you’re worried about the ethical and environmental issues surrounding eating meat. With Impossible and Beyond Meat now readily available at stores, being a vegetarian for 11 years (or longer) would be a lot easier.