Critics of vegetarian meat substitutes often say they are ‘nothing like that real thing,’ but Impossible Foods’ new lab-grown burger patty seeks to silence the complaints for good. The California-based company assembled a team of scientists to create a cruelty-free burger patty made entirely from plant-based ingredients, but unlike any veggie burger before it, the Impossible Foods burger smells, bleeds, and apparently tastes just like beef from a cow. After wildly satisfying diners in taste tests, this next-gen veggie burger is taking on the West Coast by making its way onto the menus of three upscale restaurants.
Impossible Foods announced Wednesday that its new burger will grace the menus of Jardinière and Cockscomb in San Francisco and Crossroads Kitchen in Los Angeles, and the company expects it will appear in more restaurants by year’s end. Prices will range from $14-$19 and it’s safe to assume a side or two will be included. What’s important to note is that, unlike most companies producing vegetarian meat substitutes (or “meat analogs”), Impossible Foods isn’t actually targeting vegan and vegetarian diners. Rather, the company is focused on people who currently prefer beef, in an effort to reduce meat consumption.
The Impossible burger debuted earlier this summer in San Francisco at Jardinière and in New York at David Chang’s Momofuku Nishi. Until now, those were the only places you could get a taste of the cruelty-free burger patty, which is composed entirely of plant-based ingredients. This isn’t something you can whip up in your home kitchen, however. The Impossible Foods burger is a product of pure science. Coconut oil, potato compounds, and even honeydew melon molecules work together with other components to mimic a real beef patty in just about every way.
Impossible Foods was founded by Patrick Brown, who also helped create Kite Hill, an artisanal vegan cheese company that produces a wide array of plant-based products that rival ‘he real thing. No stranger to cruelty-free comfort food substitutes, Brown has made it clear that his ultimate mission is to save animals, by making vegan food items so delicious that nobody has an excuse to continue eating meat and dairy products.
Images via Impossible Foods