Despite the acclaim, an amazing number of people don't know what the Impossible Burger is. There are tons of articles out there telling you what it is (I should know, I've probably read half of them). But in 60 seconds or fewer, the Impossible Burger is a vegan burger patty designed from the ground up to taste like a hamburger. While obviously not the first entrant into the veggie burger market, the Impossible Burger is part of a small group of new patties designed from the ground up to be everything a hamburger is without being a hamburger. Impossible Foods' scientists examined the burger in order to understand what makes a hamburger a hamburger. (I've now used the word "hamburger" five, er, six times in the last few sentences. Sorry not sorry.) Taste is obviously one thing, but there's more to it than that: There's the way it cooks up, the way you can sear it and have a great crust on the outside and a tender reddish inside. Speaking of "reddish", there's color. There's smell. Ultimately, they identified several proteins, the most predominant of which is called "heme" (think "hemoglobin"). Heme can be derived from plants. Get the right ingredients in the right proportions, assemble them, add some magical pixie dust, and you have the Impossible Burger!
|The menu at Fabio's Osteria.
A big nothing-burger
|The Impossible Burger. I was healthy and skipped the fries.
|It looks like a burger and quacks like a burger.
The burger lives up to the hype of being "impossible" to tell it from a regular burger. Well, actually, I detected an aftertaste, but I'd never know if that was the burger without either ordering a completely plain version of it, or ordering the exact same burger made from felled bovine. But ultimately, if somebody handed the burger to me and didn't tell me anything, I wouldn't have noticed that I was eating vegan.
At the end of the day, I'll eat an Impossible Burger again. But as for Fabio's Osteria....
Sorry, Fabio. Please pack your knives and go.