Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve seen the commercials for Burger King’s new “Impossible Whopper,” showing customers trying it for the first time with puzzled looks on their faces. Most couldn’t believe that what they were eating was not a regular Whopper.
Of course, I’m sure we will never see the outtakes of people spitting onto the ground or trashing the new product in any way. Still, I was curious, and inquiring minds want to know.
A few months ago, in this column, I picked the Whopper as my last meal of choice in the unlikely event that I end up on Death Row. Therefore, I consider myself an aficionado on Burger King and the Whopper.
After taking my mother to a doctor’s appointment, she wanted to treat me to lunch, so we stopped at Burger King. When we pulled into the parking lot in Seaford, I noticed the signs for the Impossible Whopper announcing it as a “limited time only” promotion. It was now or never, so I thought, why not?
Cautiously, I asked the counter person what would happen if I didn’t like the Impossible Whopper? Since the price was a dollar more than a regular Whopper, I wondered if there would be some sort of a money-back guarantee. Apparently not. “You’ll like it,” she enthusiastically told me, “Everyone loves it.” Yeah, and The Titanic was unsinkable…
Looking at the pictures on the menu board, it looked exactly like the regular Whopper. Instead of the traditional white and yellow wrapper, the Impossible Whopper came wrapped in eco-green paper. After unwrapping it, I opened the bun to inspect the patty, something I’ve never done with a Whopper before.
It looked like a burger patty, even having the same texture. I’ve cooked veggie burgers on the grill alongside regular hamburgers, and there is no comparison. The look, feel and taste are completely different. But this was no ordinary veggie burger. I reassembled the Impossible Whopper, closed my eyes, and took a bite.
To be honest, this was impossible.
If I didn’t know better, I might have had a hard time telling the difference. The more bites I took, the more I realized that there were a lot of different flavors attacking my taste buds. The actual taste of the patty itself was a small part of the equation. It was flame-broiled and smothered in ketchup and mayo, supplemented with onions, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. It certainly didn’t NOT taste like a regular Whopper.
After finishing the Impossible Whopper, I decided that if it were indeed healthier than a regular Whopper (which checks in at about 1,200 calories), maybe I would consider it every now and then. It certainly sounds healthier. It’s made from the roots of plants and is infused with coconut and sunflower oil, allowing it to sizzle when cooked.
But upon further review, its not. It’s got about the same nutritional value as a regular Whopper. You only save about 30 calories, and everything else that’s bad for you—sodium, trans fat, etc., is about the same. On top of that, it will cost you a dollar more.
If it’s not any healthier, then what’s the point? I guess if there’s a market for decaffeinated coffee and non-alcoholic beer, why not a Whopper that tastes like beef, but doesn’t have any meat?
I’m not sure I’m ready for something that isn’t what I think it is. Let’s be honest, you’re not really making a healthy choice when you choose a Whopper, yet we order them anyway. Nobody goes out of their way for a Burger King salad. With that said, there is really no reason to order an Impossible Whopper when the regular Whopper is available.
Thanks, but no thanks. With apologies to Elsie the Cow, whether it’s my last meal or not, I’ll take my Whopper with beef.
Paul DiSclafani, a Massapequa resident, is a 2018 Press Club of Long Island award winning columnist and an Anton Media Group contributor since 2016.