It's the moment that heralds the close of a enjoyable barbecue: "Sorry, we're all out of meat. There are some veggie burgers left if you want one?" The response to this offer is always a flat "No" - even from vegetarians - followed by a sulky poke at the remnants of the coleslaw. Unless the veg option on offer is the Impossible Cheeseburger.
While appearing to be a succulent, juicy stack of rare meat and cheese, this vegetable-based fraud is getting your juices flowing thanks to an unconventional ingredient: plant blood. Or rather, heme - a molecule found in hemoglobin that also occurs naturally in plants.
The lab-made burger, formed entirely from plant matter carefully picked for its colour, flavour and texture, is given a false "meaty" texture thanks to the addition of this heme molecule, which combines with the plants' amino acids to evoke a texture and taste similar to that of beef. According to the tasters at the Wall Street Journal who gave the Impossible a trial bite, it tastes "better than a turkey burger".
Although looking the part, the team at Impossible Food labs are hoping to tweak the flavour before unleashing this perfect veg patty on the market. Next year's barbecues might finally have a vegetarian option everyone will be fighting for.
[Via: Wall Street Journal]