Is the Impossible Whopper Worthwhile to Eat?
The Burger King Impossible Whopper tastes fine, but opens up some questions
Note: this was originally intended to be a video. I tried. But as an Old with longtime spatial issues, I have absolutely zero selfie-skills, and my life partner is opposed to every single aspect of my making gratuitous videos for a food blog. So I need some outside help if I'm ever going to record the devourment of an excessive Wisconsin bloody Mary or the like. So for now an article will have to suffice.
First, a few bits of backstory:
This is not my first Impossible burger. I had one last year at M Burger in Chicago and thought it tasted good. So I figured going in that my judgment would be positive. Next, although Burger King sits far down on my fast food list in terms of order execution and cleanliness, the fact is the Whopper is still one of my top 3 fast food burgers. Finally, this particular BK is even slightly worse than the usual random one so my expectation of the execution of the burgers was low going in.
The Contestants: first, the incumbent
Just a few stray lettuces
Actually wasn't as much of a mess as Whoppers I've bought at this location before. The patty is 1/4 pound beef, made somewhat flatter than the McDonald's burger of the same weight. Patties are cooked over flame as opposed to on a flattop surface. Contains lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mayo, pickle. No onion for me, thank you.
Nice ketchup/mayo drippage
To me, the flavor breakdown of a Whopper is as follows: 80% is the combination of the tomato, pickles, mayo and ketchup; 15% the smoke, whether it is natural or enhanced, from the flame grilling; and the last 5% is the aftertaste of the beef juices. This is foreshadowing for how the Impossible version is going to do.
The Impossible Whopper
Looks just like a overdone Whopper
The only visual difference is the darkness of the patty, but if you didn't know, you might think this was a regular Whopper, just well done. The same fixings are applied: lettuce, tomato, pickle, mayo and ketchup. No onion, I don't wish to offend people.
Not a lot of juiciness
The flavor profile is unchanged: 80% fixings; 15% smoke; five percent aftertaste as the 'meat' portion hits the back of your mouth. The bite and chew is identical with the beef burger, and the toppings provide the vast majority of the flavor. The 'meat' is quite a bit drier, as if it was a well-done beef patty. It tastes like a Whopper, up until the last when the soy and coconut oils in the patty turn up. It isn't an unpleasant taste at all, and only the most obstinate carnivore is going to have a taste complaint.
My Impossible thoughts
It tastes like a Whopper. As food, it is good. As a burger, it is good. It is $1 more expensive, and it is not eligible for '2-for-$6' specials. (UPDATE: it is, now) Burger King has a conveyor-belt cooking apparatus that differs from other fast food burger places due to the application of heat by flame, thus preserving the flame-broiled taste. BK did not install a separate cooking line for the Impossible Whopper. So when it is cooked, it rides on the top of all the meat juices from all the burgers that came before. Perhaps upon request they will nuke it separately in their microwave, but that sounds awful.
So therefore it is pointless. Vegetarians & vegans won't buy it because it has touched the same surfaces as beef products. Regular folks won't buy it because it is more expensive, as well as drier. It thus makes sense to me that McDonald's has chosen not to engage in the plant-based burger business. Don't get me wrong; Burger King is part of a large company, and already they've received complaints and lawsuits from Angry Vegans about the polluted nature of the Impossible Whopper. But BK don't care - heck, courting controversy is basically their MO (see: having a Big Mac hidden in every advert they did in 2019).
Put it this way: BK is the Prince Harry of burger joints. McDs is Prince William. Ronnie the Clown wants zero controversy. So for once they've shown some restraint before adding a new product. I personally am thankful for this.
The only way this is going to work is for a chain to make a serious effort to build a segregated food prep line for Meat Avoidance customers. I predict it will happen; it may even be McDonald's, down the road. They can dismantle the horrible McCafes, and stick the McVegans in their place. Until then, it remains a novelty, certainly not a savior for BK's dwindling market share.
Sorry about no video. Please enter your Impossible Whopper comments below: