IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER vs. ORIGINAL WHOPPER – Why?
The plant-based Impossible Whopper has been one of Burger King’s all-time most successful launches. The Impossible Whopper is constructed exactly like the original, except the beef patty is replaced by a meatless soy-based patty, presenting an alternative for vegetarians and vegans.
My dietary choices are primarily motivated by flavor, gastronomic satisfaction and affordability. I eat many animal species because they are delicious. However, months of marketing and hype stimulated my curiosity. Does an Impossible Whopper REALLY taste just like a traditional Whopper like they say? I had to know. Burger King is running a 2 for $6.00 mix-or-match sandwich sale, so I made today my special day. I handed over my 6 bucks and brought home an original Whopper and an Impossible Whopper. Here are my thoughts…
The health benefits of the Impossible Whopper vs. the original are negligible. BOTH are high in calories and fat. According to MarketWatch, the Impossible Whopper contains just a bit fewer calories and fat grams than the original. If healthful eating is your goal, look elsewhere.
As expected, the sandwiches look identical…
The patties appearances are the most noticeable difference between the two. The Impossible patty is perfectly round and is of perfectly uniform thickness. In this example, the sear marks are especially pronounced, as if to exaggerate the illusion of meatness. The original patty has an uneven edge and a lumpier surface.
A nibble of each of the patties revealed little difference. The texture of the Impossible patty was a bit firmer. In both, the prevailing flavor is that of Burger King’s signature flame broiling.
I ate my two sandwiches simultaneously, alternating bites between the two. They were indistinguishable. Both were delicious. The flavor is dominated by the flame broiling, pickles, onions and mayo. The tomatoes and lettuce add to the identical texture.
CONCLUSION: Burger King HAS SUCCEEDED in creating a meatless Whopper that tastes virtually identical to the original. But why? There are no significant health advantages. The Impossible burgers contain mayo and are cooked on the same grill as the meats, transferring animal fats and other schmeckus to the soyburger… a deal-breaker for the strictest vegans. I suppose the Impossible Whopper is ideal for those who reject the commodity status of animals, but is the high-calorie, high-fat meatless sandwich attractive enough to attract sustainable market? Plus, the Impossible Whopper costs a buck more than the original at regular price. White Castle now has Impossible Sliders and McDonalds is testing a “McVegan” sandwich. It will be interesting to see if impossible burgers are a flash-in-the-pan curiosity or a sustainable fast food evolution.
- Mike Bechtol 2020