Which is the Whopper, and which is the Impossible Whopper?
Burger King is making St. Louis ground zero for its entry into the meatless burger market. Say hello to the Impossible Whopper.
The burger, which is available at 59 St. Louis-area Burger Kings as of today, consists of the same parts that make a Whopper, well, a Whopper: sesame seed bun, generous slathering of mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup and sliced onion. What the Impossible Whopper doesn't have, course, is a four-ounce grilled beef patty. Instead, it's got the Impossible version, a scientifically developed patty that promises all the flavor of meat without any of the cruelty
At a south St. Louis city Burger King this morning, the Impossible Whopper arrived without any noticeable delay — though at $5.49, it does cost an extra buck.
Today's surprise announcement came with the release of a candid-camera style advertisement
in which Burger King customers are informed that the burgers they just ate are in fact plant-based. The customers then react with heavily-bleeped disbelief.
"It's made of f—king beef right here," one man tells the camera, raising the bun as if to better prove the protein he just ingested is, indeed, a formerly living animal. "You see that right here? It's beef!"
The narrator chimes in, "We swear, it's not beef."
Maybe the ad is trying a little too hard, but it's also true that the Impossible Whopper is a shockingly faithful version of the fast food staple. Similar to White Castle's Impossible Sliders, which hit the local market last year
, the Impossible Whopper benefits greatly from the combination of the patty and its toppings and sauces. And even on its own, the patty doesn't falter. There's no weird aftertaste and it doesn't crumble while chewing. The essential "Whopperness" is there, and it hits that spot.
"We've done sort of a blind taste test with our franchisees, with people in the office, with my partners on the executive team," Burger King's North America president, Christopher Finazzo, told Reuters
. "Virtually nobody can tell the difference."
Does that really mean the Whopper and Impossible Whopper are identical? Well, no. The plant-based patty can't quite hit the inherent juiciness of the original's piece of beef, and the dryness of the Impossible patty became more apparent during a comparison taste-test performed under the rigorous scientific conditions required by RFT
's editorial guidelines — that is, alternating bites whilst double-fisting burgers in the parking lot.
Sure, the launch of the Impossible Whopper on April Fool's Day feels like a corporate stunt and desperate tie-in to a holiday already made insufferable by brands
. But this Impossible Whopper is no joke. It's just really fucking good.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
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