Putting meatless Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger to the test
Jonathan Kauffman, San Francisco Chronicle
Feb. 8, 2019
Redwood City’s Impossible Foods announced Thursday that it has switched to a “version 2.0” of its meatless Impossible Burger, six weeks after El Segundo’s Beyond Meat introduced a new version of the plant-based Beyond Burger at Carl’s Jr. locations around the country.
As the competition builds, the question becomes: Which tastes better? At back-to-back tastings at Carl’s Jr. and Gott’s Roadside, which has sold the Impossible Burger 2.0 since mid-January, the two new versions demonstrated they tasted dramatically different from versions 1.0 — and from each other.
The Carl’s Jr. Beyond Burger ($9.49) greeted the nose with a swaggering smokiness and beef-like aroma that hit hard and lingered long. Prepared by the fast-food chain, its porous texture resembled that of the McRib, McDonald’s cult pressed-pork sandwich; the burger will eventually replace the version sold at grocery stores, allowing home cooks to pan-sear or grill it, which gives the non-meat a crust that only benefits its flavor.
Gott’s Impossible Burger ($12.99) profited from the advantage of a brioche bun and higher-caliber fixings. The patty, which formerly tasted like wheat gluten spritzed with coconut oil and beef bouillon, now better mimics a real hamburger in its texture, its beefy flavor far more amplified. It looks and tastes like a lite hamburger, but a hamburger nonetheless.
If you want to try the new Beyond Burger, it has made its debut in 1,000 campus food-service operations as well as 1,000 locations of Carl’s Jr., including all of the stores in the greater Bay Area. Search for the one nearest you at www.carlsjr.com/locations.
Feb. 7 is the first day that all restaurants will be able to order the new Impossible Burger, so it will take several weeks for the recipe to become widely available. If you want to taste the new version now...
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