Impossible Foods is ambitious: The company wants to eventually replace all meat with plant-based alternatives and end animal-based agriculture within the next 15 years. It plans to accomplish this mission by making extremely good meat alternatives, so diners won't feel like they need to chow down on beef — and now, pork — to feel satisfied.
The Impossible Burger tastes just like the real thing, and now the company has a new "meat" ready to take on the food industry. Impossible Pork debuted ahead of CES today (Jan. 6), and we got a chance to taste the gluten-free, kosher and halal ground pork replacement.
Impossible Pork taste test
Impossible Pork isn't a bacon or pork chop alternative. Like Impossible Burger, it's designed to substitute for ground pork in a variety of dishes. I tried a banh mi, char siu bun, dan dan noodles, katsu, a pork shumai (my personal fave) and sweet/sour/numbing pork meatballs.
All of the dishes were texturally akin to ground pork, and the flavor of the meat was enhanced (and in some cases, outshined) by the accompanying sauces. Our least favorite sample was the banh mi, which had the least cover from sauces, and had the least pork-like flavor.
If you were hoping that Impossible Pork is a healthier alternative to the real thing, well, not so much. Impossible's version is cholesterol-free and doesn't have animal hormones or antibiotics, but it's still a sodium bomb — 420 milligrams in a 4-ounce serving, compared to 80 milligrams in the same size serving as USDA 70/30 pork.
However, the pork has 40% fewer calories than a comparable serving of real pork, which is useful for those watching their weight.
Like the Impossible beef, Impossible's pork-like product is surprisingly close to the real thing, especially when it's dressed up with other ingredients. San Francisco-based chef Traci Des Jardins said cooking Impossible Pork is similar to cooking with the real deal, and has a similar fatty mouthfeel that you get when you eat pork.
Impossible Sausage: Coming soon
Alongside Impossible Pork, there will also be Impossible Sausage, which is a pre-seasoned sausage replacement that we weren't able to sample at the company's CES press event. The company will be rolling out Impossible Sausage later this month at 139 Burger King locations in a new menu item: the Impossible Croissan'wich.
Impossible says it's not going to release a bacon product until the most hardcore bacon worshipper will think it tastes like the real thing. But the company is testing a bacon alternative.
"It's going to be an epic moment when we release a kosher bacon cheeseburger," said Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown.
Be sure to check out our CES 2020 hub for the latest news and hands-on impressions out of Las Vegas.
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Caitlin is a Senior editor for Gizmodo. She has also worked on Tom's Guide, Macworld, PCWorld and the Las Vegas Review-Journal. When she's not testing out the latest devices, you can find her running around the streets of Los Angeles, putting in morning miles or searching for the best tacos.