LAS VEGAS — Impossible Foods, the fake meat company with investors such as Bill Gates, was back at CES this week and had one of the more unusual product launches. The company introduced two new meat-replacements: Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage. It’s the first new products for Impossible since the Impossible Burger debuted in 2016.
GeekWire Managing Editor Taylor Soper and I got a chance to taste the plant-based, gluten-free Impossible Pork — here’s our review:
The first few bites were awesome — and surprising. Juicy and flavorful is not what I expect from fake meat. It was almost like actual pork, but felt about 90 percent “real.” Something was missing, but not much.
I would definitely eat it again, especially given the reduced fat and cholesterol content and environmental impact. But what about thee price, and the high sodium content (370mg per serving)? Is Impossible Pork really better for you and better for the planet?
The texture of Impossible Pork was surprisingly realistic. Granted, it is a replacement for ground pork and doesn’t have the texture of a pork loin or pork chop. But it had a very meat-like consistency.
I thought the flavor was good, though a bit “thin” compared to real pork. The recipes we tried were strongly-flavored Asian dishes prepared by a high-end restaurant. I’d be curious to have simpler preparations to really get the underlying taste of the fake pork.
I like the idea of a no cholesterol product, but I’d really want to be educated more about the health benefits and risks of this processed food. It is quite a bit higher in sodium content than real ground pork, and does use significant quantities of coconut and sunflower oils to achieve its fat content.
Fake meat might seem like a strange fit for the huge consumer electronics show, but this is the second time that Impossible Foods has launched a product here. Its debut was at CES 2019 when it launched the Impossible Burger 2.0.
The company did not reveal exactly when Impossible Pork will hit grocery stores, but Impossible Sausage will be introduced at select Burger King locations this month in an “Impossible CROISSAN’WICH.”
Since launching in 2016, the Impossible Burger is now available in more than 17,000 restaurants across the U.S., Singapore, Hong Kong and Macau. The company has raised nearly $800 million. Its chief rival is Beyond Meat.
“Impossible Foods cracked meat’s molecular code — starting with ground beef, which is intrinsic to the American market. Now we’re accelerating the expansion of our product portfolio to more of the world’s favorite foods,” Impossible Foods’ CEO and founder Dr. Patrick O. Brown said in a statement. “We won’t stop until we eliminate the need for animals in the food chain and make the global food system sustainable.”
A day after the Impossible Foods event, we had a chance to catch up with American restaurateur and celebrity chef Guy Fieri at an Amazon event. He hadn’t tried the Impossible Pork, but he called the Impossible Burger “pretty amazing.”
Fieri did note that “I can’t say it’s the healthiest thing.” But he’s impressed with its popularity.
“When you see it come out in a major burger chain, you know something is going on,” he said.