Seafood Shack Introduces the Impossible Burger

Burger Revolution

BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY DEC 27, 2017

Something new is cooking down at the Seafood Shack in Cortez, and Executive Chef Gerard Jesse says it’s “a gamechanger.” Just introduced to the Seafood Shack menu, the Impossible Burger redefines the veggie burger, going beyond a pale substitute to become something that Jesse believes could be a true replacement.

Not that he’s saying beef (or meat in general) necessarily needs to be phased out of the human diet, but that the Impossible Burger may succeed where many previous experiments have failed. Unlike most veggie burgers, which these days gravitate toward the chickpea or black bean burger and stand relatively on their own, the Impossible Burger, though made entirely of plant matter, looks, smells, tastes, feels and even sizzles like a real all-beef hamburger. As a result, it’s not simply “the vegetarian option,” but an option for meat-eaters who love the taste of meat as well.

Invented and made by the team at Impossible Foods, the Impossible Burger comprises largely water, wheat protein, potato protein and coconut oil, with smaller amounts of binder like xantham gum and lots of different sorts of vitamin B. But the breakthrough ingredient, the one they call “magic,” is the one they call heme. Reportedly found in abundance in animal muscle (myoglobin, in particular), heme gives meat that wonderful sizzle, taste and bloody look. A basic building block of life, heme can also be found, in a slightly different form, in plants as well. Known as leghemoglobin, the folks at Impossible Foods harvest theirs from soy.

Arriving “raw,” the “meat” looks much like any other raw ground beef, and, when it cooks, it sears and browns and smells almost exactly like real beef. And seasoned however one pleases, the finished product tastes pretty much like any other burger. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Jesse, who tried for more than a year to get the attention of Impossible Foods, which was expanding and looking more for chains to boost their product. “It’s insane, and a great chance to change your lifestyle.”

And not only does the Impossible Burger present a relatively healthier option for the individual (and can be prepared “rare” without any additional risk of foodborne illness), the production also benefits the planet as a whole. Using 100% less cow, the production also uses 95% less land, 74% water and creates 87% less greenhouse gas emissions. “It’s definitely a breakthrough,” says Jesse.

Pictured: The Impossible Burger ready to eat and served with fries at Seafood Shack. Photo courtesy of Seafood Shack.

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