For the life of me I cannot recall which fast food restaurant is touting their faux burger currently. It's some plant based thing that "tastes exactly like a real burger". Or so they say.
I have so many issues with this, I'm not sure where to start.
Right off the bat I have to tell you that I have absolutely nothing against a veggie "burger". Personally I've never eaten one that I liked the taste of, but if you do like them...that's awesome. So please understand, right up front, that this is not coming from some weird psychotic hatred of veggie burgers, ok?
But let's start with the fact that we are calling any hot 'pattie' or facsimile thereof a "burger". It's not a burger. "Burger" is short for Hamburger. It is. I looked it to be sure that I was correct. Over the years it has come to mean anything sort of like a hamburger that is hot and between two slices of bread buns or something representing buns.
Ok I will admit that the word hamburger is deceptive at best. The word implies that the sandwich is made out of ham and it isn't. A proper Hamburger is made out of beef. As it turns out the original Hamburger was a "Hamburg style steak" which was actually raw chopped beef as eaten in Hamburg Germany. It wasn't even put on bread until the late 1880's in New Haven Connecticut when Louis Lassen put cooked ground beef steak between two pieces of bread. Voila! The beginnings our what we call a Hamburger.
And sure, I understand how that morphed into chicken burgers, portobello burgers, and whatever constitutes a proper veggie burger. Something hot and pattie-like between two pieces of bread obviously equals a something-burger. Okay. I will conceded that.
But this new plant-based "burger" that tastes exactly like a real burger - and I'm not the one who made that distinction, I am quoting them...real burger - is crazy.
Do you know how they made something plant based taste like a "real" burger? With chemical additives. Yummmy! So it's really not a plant based burger it's a chemical additive burger. Just whets the appetite doesn't it?
And the thing that really gets me shaking my head about this is how much more attentive so many of us have become to eating more healthfully. Less fat, fewer carbs, more veggies (I do love my veggies) and - here is the truly nutty part - paying significantly higher prices for organic foods. Ok let me get this straight. We are paying more for organic food because it has no chemicals, no additives, nothing synthetic right? But it's ok to morph a veggie concoction into a "burger" flavoured presentation via chemical additives. And that's ok because it's veggie based and not beef. And we all know how bad beef is for us, right? And we know that because we are told that over and over and over ad nauseum.
Sooooooo do you eat this chemical-laden plant based burger on organic bread with organic lettuce and a slice of organic tomato on top? And if you do that, do the organic veggie cancel out the chemical additives? I'm just curious how that works.
See now, I don't usually buy organic anything. Why? Because I'm cheap. That really and truly is the only reason. I have no bias against organic foods otherwise. Remember now, I used to live on a farm. Everything we ate was organic because it was grown right there on our property and we absolutely didn't use chemicals . Why? Because chemicals are expensive! As I've already stated, I'm tight with a buck. But if a food being organic is important to you for whatever reason, then go for it! We all make our choices.
Here is the other thing that kind of bugs me about this fakeyfake plant based burger. Every single solitary time in my life that someone offers me a healthy alternative to something, they swear to me that it tastes exactly like.....whatever the thing I liked was. I have been hearing this line for too many years to count. "Carob tastes just like chocolate", "Frozen yogurt (which I happen to like) tastes just like ice cream" "Splenda tastes just like sugar". Ummmmm no. No it does not. Never once in my entire experience has a substitute anything tasted "exactly" like whatever it is subbing for. Never.
Cauliflower pizza doesn't taste like regular pizza. Nor does mashed cauliflower taste like mashed potatoes. Cauliflower tastes like cauliflower. Period. Smells like it too. And I have nothing against cauliflower. I especially like it raw. But the only thing it tastes like is cauliflower. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Why the Lie?
I actually CAN believe that's it's not butter. And the substitute ice creams - fat free, lactose free, sugar free, taste nothing like real full fat, real sugar, real lactose ice creams. They just do not. They do not smell the same. They do not have the same mouth-feel. They do not taste the same. Period.
I get that there are folks with real medical issues that necessitate utilizing substitute this's and that's in the foods world. And that's fine. I'm glad there are replacement foods for them. And if they happen to like the replacements, even better! Yay! BUT it does not taste the same. it just does not. Like to yourself all you like. Just don't like to me.
I don't know how many of you are old enough to remember the cola challenge? Many moons ago, somebody got the bright idea to have people do blind taste tests of various brands of cola. It's all basically the same thing right? Cold, brown, fizzy liquid. Should taste the same yes? Well it turns out that it does not. Pepsi, Coke and RC (or Royal Crown) were the ones I remember. They were all tasty but they had their own separate distinctive and completely different taste. And almost everyone who did the challenges proved it.
My final word on the matter is that if you want a veggie burger then have one that tastes like a veggie burger. If you want a burger that tastes like beef, then for heaven's sakes, eat a beef burger! I cannot believe that ingesting all those chemical additives is a healthier alternative.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.