REVIEW: Burger King Impossible Whopper

Burger King Impossible Whopper

I was a vegetarian in college.

I didn’t have any moral reasons for it, I just figured it was an easier way to lose weight and keep my vitals on the up and up. Plus, there was a vegetarian in my psychology class I was smitten with, and I reckoned that had to score me a couple of extra points.

Well, as was my torrid collegiate romance with Becky Schopenhauer, my dietary dalliance with vegetarianism was short-lived. One of the things people don’t tell you about going full veggie is just how expensive it is, and when a four-pack of MorningStar Farms veggie patties costs twice as much as two eight packs of Earl Campbell Hot Link sausages — and you’re a broke communications major — the economics become pretty obvious.

Yet all these years later, every now and then I still get a hankering for a good black bean burger. And while a lot of the more upscale burger joints have their own default veggie alternatives, finding soy patties at the larger fast food chains — your McDonald’s, your Wendy’s, your Steak n’ Shakes, etc. — is usually a lost cause.

Burger King Impossible Whopper 2

Sure, a few chains have experimented with meatless options a la Beyond Meat, but nothing on the scale of Burger King with its newfangled Impossible Whopper, which, as the name suggests, is the fast food leviathan’s signature item, albeit with the all-beef patty eschewed for an Impossible Foods-branded faux burger.

Without getting too scientific here, the secret ingredient in the Impossible Whopper patty is this stuff called leghemoglobin, which is a genetically-modified soy derivative that supposedly provides consumers the most meat-like meatless taste on the market.

Sure, sure, all of this pre-publicity puffery is fine and dandy, but I’m here to give it to you straight. So, is the Burger King Impossible Whopper truly the revolutionary product it claims to be?

Well, not really, but that’s not to say it isn’t a decent fast food burger.

Burger King Impossible Whopper Toppings

First things first, the patty itself is just too small. It’s maybe half the girth of the standard Whopper patty, and instead of being plump and juicy, this newfangled Impossible Whopper tastes more charred and salty. The patty itself, though, does have a pretty solid smoky flavor to it, and the mouthfeel of the product isn’t as chewy as you may expect. It doesn’t quite capture the “real” beef Whopper taste, but it gets closer to it than you’d think.

Burger King Impossible Whopper Tomato

And that’s thanks, in no small part, to the rest of the sandwich. It’s pretty amazing how all of the accoutrements — the lettuce, mayonnaise, and tomatoes — gel together to provide an idiosyncratic Whopper taste, despite the lack of a “true” Whopper patty whatsoever. You might have some reservations about the Impossible Whopper, but holistically, it tastes remarkably like its object of emulation.

Despite all of the hoopla over this meatless menu item, it seems a little odd to me that so few have noted that, for years, Burger King has already been serving what is effectively a “veggie Whopper.”

The weird thing is, the overall product reminds me of Burger King’s previous meatless burger, which utilized a MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie patty. Whatever gustatory quirks may be there, it appears are sizzled out in BK’s grilling process — so ultimately, you wind up with an Impossible patty that tastes just a tad too crispy, and a little too generic, for its own good.

Still, it’s an altogether pleasing product that ought to make vegetarians on the prowl for something a tad more filling than a garden salad pretty happy, although I just can’t see it turning long-time, omnivorous Whopper-fanatics into staunch vegans anytime soon.

Regardless, I’m pulling for the Impossible Whopper to be successful, if only to inspire competing burger chains to try their hands at the pseudo-burger fad. I mean, let’s face it — who doesn’t want to live in a world where Arby’s releases its own vegan-friendly Meat Mountain Sandwich a couple of years down the road?

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 630 calories; 34 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,080 milligrams of sodium, 58 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar and 25 grams of protein.

13 thoughts to “REVIEW: Burger King Impossible Whopper”

  1. I tried one last night, and on the whole thought it tasted decent. I tried a bite of just the patty, though, and the char taste was way too strong. I don’t know if this particular BK had just way overcooked it or what, but it was too much.

  2. What is the point of it? The Nutrition facts are just as bad as a regular Whopper. Congrats! You have somehow crammed in 11 Grams of Sat Fat on a Veggie Burger.

  3. The downside for true vegetarians/vegans is that this is cooked on the same grill as meat products. Some might not care about cross-contamination, but if BK’s intent was to bring in that sector, they may need to rethink how and where it is prepared.

    1. *apparently* per the vegan sites I peruse you can request the burger be cooked separately but I don’t trust that for a second! I think the intent is great with these big companies pulling in plant based options but they have a long way to go to satisfy that demographic.

  4. Genetically modified Soy Burger. Man if this catches on, the Soy Boy population is going to explode. I just might have to invest in some stock for man bras.

  5. Eating vegetarian or vegan is definitely not more expensive than eating carnivore.

    When I briefly wandered from my vegetarian ways to work on my newly discovered allergies and included dead animals in my diet for about a year before I just couldn’t stand it any more (spiritually or physically), the cats were thrilled at the carnivore leftovers but my grocery bill doubled.

    If you are poor, eat vegetarian/vegan. Just don’t buy the pricey convenience foods, those prices are high because the market is smaller at the moment. You can actually make your own veggie burgers and sausage patties pretty easily and freeze batches of them, so you won’t be entirely deprived of fast food. You just have to make it yourself occasionally, then it’s fast food for a long time afterward.

    Anyway – the pricey veggie “plant-based” stuff is for when you have more money in your pocket, not when you are low on cash. Learn how to get your protein from veggie sources like beans and grains and seeds and how to cook it all up on a budget. All you need is access to a microwave, so poor students without a real kitchen can do it also. Also learn to shop the sales in the produce and canned goods departments (life skills).

    And now we return you to our regular convenience junk food programming.

  6. I tried my first impossible burger today! While I did enjoy the texture and overall feel, I do not think it has the flavor profile of BEEF! Also there was little to no smoke(char) flavor.

    There is an underlying base flavor that is a bit strange and earthy, can not tell if it is wheat, or soy.

    I am 70 years old and I create flavors for our very own Gourmet Popcorn business. I used to cook in my younger days, and being blessed with a very sensitive pallet I found I was able to enjoy flavors and profiles my friends could not.
    FYI not likely to order again due to the high sodium and calorie count. But hey it was an overall good experience. From a marketing point of view not sure I love the name “Impossible Burger” to me that implies a negative from the start. Also it is the old COKE VS PEPSI thing…people go with simple names because most of us are verbally lazy! LOL.

  7. Tried one of these a couple weeks back with that $7 “taste test” deal they had. Ordered both the Impossible one and the standard one the same and they tasted exactly the same to me. I don’t have any allergy or dietary restrictions so I don’t see myself paying an extra dollar just to get the Impossible version in the future, but I thought it tasted more like “the real thing” than Del Taco’s Beyond version of their tacos tasted compared to their beef tacos.

    If they were more healthy I could see them as a godsend for cheating while dieting, but as it is they practically have the same amount of sodium and fat as a regular Whopper so this is more of a coup for vegans and vegetarians than it is for someone just looking for healthier junk food.

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