I had heard about the soy-based Impossible Burger a long time ago but they are not yet widely available. Burger King is launching a pilot program offering Impossible Whoppers (the original of which just happens to be my favorite fast-food burger) but they are only available in the midwest at the moment. Happily, it turns out that a number of smaller restaurants are offering them where I live, and today I got to try one.
It's not as good as a regular burger. It's better. It really does taste like beef, but that description doesn't really do it justice. Because it's made of soy, which is bland, they have to spice it up (literally) to make it have any flavor at all, and their secret recipe of eleventy-two herbs and spices (I'm guessing) is just incredibly tasty. It's subtle. The beefy flavor is the definitely center stage (courtesy of added heme), but it doesn't taste like beef that is straight out of the package. It tastes like beef that has been lovingly seasoned by Thomas Keller to just the point where none of the additions stands out, but the whole is much, much greater than the sum of its parts. A bit of thyme, a touch of sage, a hint of smokiness.
But the flavor is not the best part, it's the texture. It not only tastes like beef, it looks and feels like beef, but without any gristle or stray bits of bone and tendon that you sometimes find in some less-than-highest-quality cuts. Every bite is uniformly perfect, what you'd get if you hand trimmed the absolute finest prime sirloin you could find.
I think this product is going to change the world, not necessarily because it's healthier than beef (the jury is still out on that) but because it's so much more environmentally friendly to produce. Beef production wreaks holy hell on the environment. Offering people a greener alternative that doesn't require any compromise in flavor or texture, indeed improves on the original, is going to be huge. The Impossible Burger is the Tesla Model S of meat.