19 October 2019

Impossible Meat

Gave the Impossible Whopper a go. 
... I am impressed. It won't fool anybody, though not in the way you may think. If I hadn't been told it was a plant-based burger patty, I would have simply thought it was a well-done, if slightly dry burger patty. Visually, the only thing that gave it away was the color; as I said, it looked well-done, not pink in the slightest. The texture was spot on and it smelled of the same char-broil as anything else on the menu. It didn't taste like meat, mostly because it wasn't juicy, but it didn't taste like a substitute, if that makes sense. 

The last time I had a "veggie" burger years ago, the thing was essentially a giant tater tot, as if someone tried to cook a hash brown like a burger patty. That's not a bad thing, mind, but when I eat a burger, never once do I think, "You know what this needs? Crispy potatoes." and not just because I've already got a plate of crispy, salty fries performing exactly that purpose with flying colors. I am curious about the Hula Burger. It's not technically available anywhere, but there are similar recipes out there. The Hula Burger was originally created by McDonald's as part of a competition to determine its new Lent-Friendly options. The other sandwich in this competition is the (in)famous Filet-O-Fish. The Hula Burger uses a slice of pineapple in place of the burger patty, the preparation typically involving gentle marination as well as light grilling. The Filet-O-Fish not only won the competition, but became a year-round staple of the Golden Arches' menu instead of some holdover for 40 days out of the year for a specific demographic. 

To put my thoughts on vegetarianism and veganism in perspective, there's a classic episode of Doctor Who I love called The Green Death. It focuses on this progressive hippie colony and their run-ins with an evil mega corporation run by a narcissistic supercomputer. One of the supporting characters, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, is enjoying a nice meal with the hippies and compliments them on the fine roast beef they've been eating. The head of the group chuckles and explains that they have not been eating beef. They've been developing a high-protein fungus. Essentially, they've been eating a giant mushroom. The Brigadier, a very rational man and no stranger to the regular combination of steak and red wine, is almost angry about it. He simply cannot accept that what they've been eating is anything but beef. Everyone has a good laugh at his being do dumbfounded and the scene moves on to the main plot. That's basically my stance on the whole "meat alternatives" business. Give me something that looks and tastes near as makes no difference to the real thing, add in making it more sustainable and easier to source, and I'm totally on board with literally thinning the herds for the sake of freeing up more farmland. 

I don't think I could ever go vegan; I love cheese too much, and I don't know of a way to make pretzel bread without egg wash, to say nothing of my legendary peanut butter cookies requiring an egg. I have occasionally thought about going vegetarian, mostly for health purposes as I rocket towards 40 at the speed of life. It's less of a logistical nightmare compared to going vegan, though I realized my transition to herbivore would involve a lot of tree nuts and a lot of potatoes... and cheese.