Veggie burgers have a bad reputation, and for good reason. They’re either dry and crumbly, wet and mushy, thick and pasty or thin and rubbery (and that’s some of the better brands). The satisfaction from a veggie or plant-based burger just isn’t enough for most people compared to real meat.

The Impossible Burger 2.0 has changed all that. Your family barbecue will never be the same.

Impossible Foods released the first Impossible Burger in 2016 to much fanfare and lots of Silicon Valley funding. It was an instant success that bowled over diners of all dietary dedications. The company grew slowly and smartly and is now poised to take over as the true meatless challenger to the burger crown.

Raw Impossible Burger
The Impossible Burger version 2.0 in the raw looks basically indistinguishable from a burger made from real meat. The tactile feel and malleability of the “meat” is one of the more impressive achievements of this burger. (Photo by John Houser III)

In January, Impossible Foods released version 2.0 of the Impossible Burger and it is mind-blowing. It’s a plant-based burger that simulates ground meat almost perfectly. The feel of the raw burger has the tactile stickiness of real meat as does the change of color from pink to brown when it cooks. The color change and the burger’s ability to “bleed” is thanks to a molecule called Heme, harvested from soy roots. The burger also has the same amount of iron and protein as a real burger with less fat and calories. It’s also vegan, gluten-free and … wait for it … kosher (it’s OU certified)! Since it’s not a meat product, those who keep kosher can finally experience the true wonders of a cheeseburger – or at least as close as they’re going to come without breaking any religious laws.

When cooked, the texture of the burger is not unlike any frozen patty you’ve ever browned up on the grill. It’s not an exact copy of fresh ground meat, but the texture tricks your taste buds into believing that what you’re eating is the real deal, animal-style. The flavor is close, too, and only gets better with the addition of a few toppings.

The impossible has become possible and we finally have a guilt-free way to enjoy a delicious burger (or meatballs, tacos and meatloaf — the Impossible Burger meat can also be shaped).

The Impossible Burger version 2.0 still isn’t available in retail stores (that will be coming soon), but it can be had at local restaurants such as Blair’s on Hudson in Canton and Golden West in Hampden. If you’re a vegetarian looking for the real deal or a veggie-curious carnivore who just wants a guilt-free burger, the Impossible Burger 2.0 is the way to go for both taste and texture.

Watch John Houser’s Impossible Burger taste test now:

John Houser III is a national and internationally published food writer who hosts the Rouxde Cooking School Podcast. “Yes, it is pronounced ‘rude’ and, no, I don’t know where you should go out to eat Saturday night.”