Meatless 'Impossible Burger' makes its Minnesota debut on Tuesday

Hell's Kitchen will start serving the vegan burger.
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Hell's Kitchen will start serving the vegan burger.

Since its debut at a New York restaurant in 2016, the meatless "Impossible Burger" has earned rave reviews in the foodie world.

Now, it's finally arriving in Minnesota.

On Tuesday, Hell's Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis will start serving the burger that is made entirely from plants, yet contains flavoring that makes it taste like beef.

It won't officially appear on menus until late January – when Hell's Kitchen's new menus arrive – but lunch, dinner and weekend brunch diners can request it as an off-menu item until then.

It's the brainchild of Silicon Valley-based startup Impossible Foods though it owes at least part of its creation to Minnesota: one of the company's founders, Nick Halla, is a native of Owatonna.

The burger is a combination of wheat, potato, xanthan gum, Japanese yam, coconut and soybeans.

Its crucial ingredient, however, is the addition of a flavoring called heme, a molecule found in all living things but is "uniquely abundant in meat," according to Impossible Foods.

This ingredient giving the Impossible Burger the beef taste without the beef, with Impossible Foods saying its burger is created with 87 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a beef burger.

Since first appearing on restaurant menus in 2016, it's been rolled out to around 300 eateries around the country, but Hell's Kitchen is the first in Minnesota.

"When I heard about the Impossible Burger last year, I knew it was a game-changer," Hell’s Kitchen co-owner/founder Cynthia Gerdes said in a press release. “So I politely hounded the folks at Impossible Foods to bring it to Minnesota."

It comes amid a wider movement towards greater vegan food options. In November, TGI Fridays announced it'll be introducing a vegan burger that uses beetroot so it "bleeds" like real meat.

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