Food fight: ‘Impossible Burger’ taste panel debates meat vs. veggie burger

Food fight: ‘Impossible Burger’ taste panel debates meat vs. veggie burger

in Food and Beverage

By Ike Fredregill, Cowboy State Daily

If you’re going to pick a fight, it might as well be a food fight.

When Cowboy State Daily charged me with assembling a taste-testing panel for the Impossible Burger, I knew just the guys to get the dialogue rolling: Joel Funk, the Laramie Boomerang managing editor and former vegetarian; and Jeff Victor, a University of Wyoming grad student and fanatic disciple of vegetarianism.

Both Joel and Jeff know me to be an unrepentant meat eater, or “blood mouth” as Jeff would later say. So, under the guise of diversity, I was able to entice my friends to the table for a debate about ethical edibility. 

It didn’t hurt I offered to pick up the tab.

The impossible 

On April Fools’ Day, Burger King rolled out a game-changing announcement — a partnership with Impossible Foods to provide a vegetarian burger patty dubbed the Impossible Whopper.

I’m not sure if they chose the date so they could retract the statement depending on the public response, or because they thought offering a meatless hamburger was a good prank, but come April 2, the fast food franchise stood by their claim — sort of.

The Impossible Whopper is only available in select cities for the time being, and it comes as no surprise none of those cities are in Wyoming.

According to the Washington Post, however, the faux-burger did quite well in St. Louis, where it’s being tested at 59 locations — many of which sold out of the sandwich the first day.

Now, I’ve been called a lot of things, but patient isn’t one of them. Luckily, I didn’t need to look far for an opportunity to try out the Impossible.

Sweet Melissa Cafe in Laramie offers the original Impossible Burger, Impossible Foods’ precursor to the Impossible Whopper.

Food fight

Joel, Jeff and I kicked off the feast with the intended testing panel and for the most part, the Impossible Burger was a winner.

“I don’t think this could compete with a gourmet burger,” Jeff said. “To me it’s good. But, it makes me think of a trashy fast food burger, and I mean trashy in the best of ways. That’s actually what I like about it.”

Joel turned the Impossible Burger over in his hands almost as if he were judging it by weight alone.

“It’s got good substance,” he said. “It feels like a burger in my mouth. As far as veggie burgers go, it’s probably one of the better ones out there.”

My favorite kind of food is whatever is in front of me, so I dived in.

“I like it as a sandwich, but I don’t see anything ‘impossible’ about it,” I remarked. “It’s definitely got that mouth feel, but it’s lacking the flavor of meat. My tastebuds notice a definite absence.”

Stay tuned tomorrow for video with the tasters first impressions and ensuing conversation on the ethics of lab-grown meat versus farm-raised meat.

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