The notion that a burger needs to feature beef, turkey or any other sort of meat to be satisfying has long been debunked. There are restaurants all over the country now that are offering delicious vegan burgers that any foodie, vegan or otherwise, would be silly not to try out. One of the most renowned vegan burgers is also one of the most exclusive ones. Or, at least it is for now.
The "Impossible Burger," made by Impossible Foods, quickly gained a reputation as a burger that had to be tasted to be believed. It debuted at New York's Momofuku Nishi. On Facebook, Chef David Chang said, "Today I tasted the future and it was vegan." As part of its exclusivity the burger (which lured waves of people to line up in hopes of trying it), is only available during Momofuku Nishi's lunch hour, from 12-3 p.m.
The restaurant's Tumblr offers the fascinating rundown of the Impossible Burger, which looks remarkably like a burger you would find at any American restaurant or cookout. As the description plainly states, "the Impossible burger tastes like ground beef but is made from plants." Indeed, the hearty taste of the Impossible Burger is created through wheat protein, potatoes, special seasoning and heme. Heme is where the magic comes in, as it allows the Impossible Burger to replicate the savory taste of one made out of meat, but in more lean meals. The Tumblr post then goes on to describe the sustainability associated with the burger.
Word of the burger's popularity spread and the Impossible Burger started heading out West. It arrived in San Francisco at two different restaurants, Cockscomb and Jardinière. Plus, it also came to fine dining vegan restaurant Crossroads in Los Angeles. For some, the Impossible Burger might seem to be impossible to ever find, but for those who try it, it seems to be impossible to put down.
For New Yorkers who want to try the Impossible Burger, there are now more restaurants offering it. Two of Chef Brad Farmerie's restaurants, Saxon + Parole as well as Public now have the Impossible Burger on their menus. Plus, the Daily, the bar right next to Public, is reportedly going to replace the burger that's currently on their menu with it. All of these restaurants are putting their own spin on the burger as well. Saxon + Parole's interpretation features sauces made of mushrooms and truffles, while Momofuku Nishi's is more in line with that of a traditional burger.
The overwhelming popularity and demand for the Impossible Burger might seem surprising, considering that it is, after all, a vegan burger. However, with a rising awareness of the effects of factory farming on our environment and the welfare of animals used for livestock, the vegan movement is gaining more and more traction through irrefutable scientific evidence as to why this lifestyle is far better for our environment.
However, it can be difficult to persuade people to overhaul their diets completely if they don't want what you're offering them. Many people might think that vegans subsist off salads exclusively. However, as the Impossible Burger proves, you can have a deeply satisfying meal without any harm coming to animals whatsoever.
Could the Impossible Burger spark a culinary revolution? Chang's testimony was beyond high praise, but it's unclear how near that future he's referring to is. Hopefully, word of the Impossible Burger will spread, and it will be available in cities across the U.S. and around the world. If not, the vegan message will not die out, and new followers will join the call to protect animals and our planet as a whole.