Two weeks ago, when a Washington Jewish Week reporter visited my kosher vegetarian cooking camp, he had just written a story about the Impossible Burger and tried it himself. Of course he had to ask me if I wanted to try it. I told him I honestly wasn’t that interested. I don’t actually miss the taste of a juicy hamburger or have any desire to feel like I’m eating a real burger.
Now, I have tried the Impossible Burger and I’m here to tell you about it! I almost missed it. We were back-to-school shopping in Baltimore and stopped at Tov Pizza to feed the kids before hitting the road. I hadn’t ordered anything and was picking at my son’s fries, when my husband noticed a hand-written white board sign that said, “Impossible Burger Special,” or something like that.
Obviously, despite any reservations I had, when the opportunity presented itself to me – I had to take it! I told them everyone in the DC area thinks they need to go to Teaneck, NJ to find an Impossible Burger at a kosher restaurant. They should tell people about this! The nice people working at the counter acknowledged they hadn’t really publicized it. In the meantime, I had to be clear when I ordered the Impossible Burger that I did NOT want it with cheese, like other kosher consumers were excited to order.
I really didn’t know what to expect, but it was presented with lettuce, tomato, pickles and a special sauce. Sound familiar? That jingle came to me and I thought it was from an old Burger King Whopper commercial, but I looked it up and it is actually a McDonald’s Big Mac jingle. Guess this kosher vegan doesn’t have my old school fast food commercials memorized! To me it was reminiscent of a Whopper, the one without cheese available at the kosher Burger King in Israel.
The good news for me: As the reporter wrote in his story, the Impossible Burger did not “bleed” like they claim it does. (Maybe the company knows how to cook it to make that happen, but I don’t know if anyone else does!) I actually thought it was the perfect in-between of realistic enough to satisfy two types of consumers. One: The kosher-keeping Jews who have been excited to eat an Impossible Burger with cheese so they can have the pseudo-experience of eating a realistic cheeseburger. Two: Someone like me who wants a bit of a taste I haven’t had in many years, but not so realistic that I feel like I’m really eating a burger made from a cow.
My non-vegan husband also thought it tasted like the kosher Whopper. He really liked it. Even though he eats cheese, the idea of a cheeseburger doesn’t even sound good to him, so he didn’t mind that his taste of it did not include the aforementioned pseudo-cheeseburger experience.
This is not a natural whole food, by any means. However, it is a treat, and I still think it’s better than a real hamburger and plenty of other processed foods. It’s just fun! If you want to enjoy an Impossible Burger, check for locations here. For kosher consumers, please note this is NOT a list of kosher restaurants. It is a list of ALL restaurants. There isn’t a dedicated link for that – yet!