The Impossible Burger is well integrated into mainstream American dining culture, earning a permanent placement on menus of drive-thrus, fast-casual chains, and fine-dining restaurants. It first debuted in 2016 at the prestigious Momofuku Nishi restaurant in New York City, and has since attracted a wide popularity with its rollout to fast-food and fast-casual concepts pretty much everywhere, including White Castle and Umami Burger. Despite this rapid distribution and success, Impossible is hellbent on doing the impossible: making the eponymous burger even better. Guided by customer feedback, the startup company developed the much-anticipated Impossible Burger 2.0, which promises significant upgrades to the “bleeding” patty’s texture and chew, an enhanced nutritional profile, and a completely gluten-free ingredient list. If you’re a burger-lover and you’re intrigued by these latest efforts, read on for all you need to know to make the impossible possible.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Introducing Impossible 2.0
After listening to its esteemed chefs and restaurant partners, as well as everyday customers, Impossible Foods realized there was room for improvement. Rachel Konrad, Impossible Foods’ chief communications officer, explained to VegNews, “We decided to get started on the 2.0 project in early 2018, making key improvements in taste, texture, and nutrition.” A team of dedicated scientists worked diligently throughout 2018 to produce the new and improved version of the burger in record time. Konrad assured VegNews that the 2.0 product underwent rigorous tasting and “likability” tests by over 1,500 vegans and omnivores in addition to the nearly 100 internal taste tests by Impossible’s own flavor scientists and sensory experts. “In these sensory tests,” Konrad said, “the all-new Impossible Burger’s ‘likeability’ rivals that of conventional burgers from cows.”

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Let’s talk nutrition
According to Konrad, the Impossible Burger 2.0 has a savorier taste, meatier char, and an improved aroma in comparison to the company’s original patty. Beyond this, Impossible Foods also focused on improving the burger’s nutritional profile, switching from wheat protein to soy protein in order to satisfy gluten-free and gluten-sensitive consumers. This switch, says Konrad, infuses the patty with “higher-quality protein,” as soy is considered a “complete protein” with nine essential amino acids. Further, the new recipe slashed the saturated fat of the original patty by 40 percent and sodium by 30 percent. In comparison to ground beef from cows, the new burger now contains an equal amount of bioavailable iron and protein, but without the cholesterol or trans fat of its animal-based equivalent. By the numbers, the quarter-pound Impossible Burger 2.0 contains 14 grams of total fat and 240 calories. A quarter-pound conventional “80/20” patty from cows contains 80 milligrams of cholesterol, 23 grams of total fat, and 290 calories.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Where can I get it?
The Impossible Burger 2.0 was first released to some of America’s most influential chefs such as Traci Des Jardins, Chris Cosentino, and Michael Symon on January 8, 2019. Just one week later, the new burger launched in 200 American restaurants. Currently, more than 5,000 dining establishments in the US and over 100 Asian restaurants in Hong Kong and Macau sell the original Impossible Burger. By mid-March, Impossible Foods estimates that all of these venues will carry the new product. National chains such as Umami Burger, White Castle, The Counter, and others already have the 2.0 burger in stock. Local, independently owned restaurants have also made the switch. To see if your favorite restaurant or brewery has updated its stock, visit the Impossible Foods’ location finder. Want to grill up some Impossible Burgers at home? Keep an eye out when grocery shopping; these patties are set to hit the supermarket shelves later this year.

 

Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who has been vegan since January 2013 and covers travel, food, and luxury items.

Photo courtesy of Impossible Foods

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