Groundbreaking: Air New Zealand Will Serve The ‘Impossible Burger’ in Business

by John Harper

If you haven’t heard of the Impossible Burger by now, check in. The burger has roughly the same flavor, texture and nutritional profile of an Angus beef patty, but is made without a single slaughtered cow. If you must, fly business class on Air New Zealand this fall: they’re serving the revolutionary patty.

Air New Zealand boasted about the new offering in a news release Monday. The burger will be available starting Oct. 1 in business class on flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland, New Zealand (AUK).

While adding a vegetarian hamburger to a business class menu may seem trivial, the Impossible Burger has turned heads in epicurean circles. Unlike conventional plant-based burger substitutes, the burger has textural elements and a hemoglobin substitute — the call it “heme” — that mimics blood. That’s right, the veggie-burger bleeds bright red juice.

Air New Zealand Has Top-Secret Operations in Place to Upgrade Business Class

The Impossible Burger, engineered to act like a hamburger without the ingredient of dead cattle, is now available on Air New Zealand's LAX flights.

The Impossible Burger, engineered to act like a hamburger without the ingredient of dead cattle, is now available on Air New Zealand’s LAX flights. Image by Impossible Foods.

This burger isn’t marketed to vegetarians. It is designed, made and sold to fool carnivores. Impossible foods claims their plant-based proteins use significantly fewer finite natural resources to produce than a beef burger of the same weight.

The burger has been on menus offered by multi-Michelin Star chefs including David Chang. Bon Appetite Magazine said the vegetable-derived meat mimic was “good enough to fool an entire family.” Also, White Castle now serves the patties.

The New York Times’ chosen baron of burgers issued a somewhat less glowing, but still positive assessment.

“I’m very sorry, but this does not taste like a hamburger,” he said. “It tastes like a fabrication of beef, not a real animal… But, this is a big step in the right direction.”

I’ve tried the Impossible, overcooked by the Bareburger on Court Street in Brooklyn. My taste buds weren’t totally fooled. There was a savory flavor that was close to, but not quite, meat. But it was damn good — good enough to forgo eating a hamburger ever again if it was priced comparably.

Impossible Burger Air New Zealand Business Class

You can now eat the Impossible Burger here: Air New Zealand’s transpacific business class.

At any rate, the new partnership will break international barriers for California-based Impossible Foods. It will, in limited supply, take the promising new burger to new heights.



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