But does it taste like it?
See that picture above? Doesn't that look like a regular burger? Well, we have news for you, because that is not beef. In fact, it's not made of any kind of meat at all. It's called the Impossible Burger, and we're here to tell you everything you need to know.
We recently dined at Umami Burger at The Grove in L.A., and we were pleasantly surprised to discover this new meatless innovation on the menu. Two patties are piled with caramelized onions, American cheese, miso-mustard, house spread, dill pickles, lettuce, and tomato in between a brioche bun, and had we not been told it wasn't a real burger, we wouldn't have known the difference.
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When the burger arrived at our table, we noticed right away that it smelled just like the real thing. Upon cutting it in half, we realized it also seemed to be bleeding, just like your normal medium-rare beef patty would. It also looked exactly like a regular burger—the texture, the color, everything. But does it actually taste the same? we wondered as we took the first bite. Much to our surprise, we found that it really does taste like a meaty burger—it was even charred a bit on the outside. The one slight difference we noticed was that it wasn't as firm as your average patty, but it just made it seem more juicy.
So how did they achieve this?
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The patties are made out of all-natural ingredients, including wheat, potato, coconut oil, and other plant-based proteins. But there is one extra special component in the burger that makes it so, well, meaty: heme. It's an iron-containing molecule that is the very thing that makes meat smell, sizzle, and, ultimately, taste like beef. The heme in Impossible Burger is made only from plants and produced through a fermentation process, similar to the way Belgian beer is made. Basically, it's everything a burger is (it even "bleeds" like a real beef burger patty), but it doesn't come from an animal.
Impossible Burger is currently available at select Umami Burger locations throughout California, as well as a few other restaurants in New York, Las Vegas, and Texas.