I’m a once-a-week vegetarian. My family likes to buy plant-based burger patties—from Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat—and fry up great burgers in our skillet. The resulting burgers don't offer 100 percent of the beef cheeseburger experience, but they're about 95 percent as satisfying, and up until now, that’s been a good enough tradeoff for me.
But what’s preventing these burgers from reaching that 100 percent goal? It’s the flavor of plant-based meats, which taste like, well, plant-based meats. They’re made primarily from a pea protein, which gives a lingering aftertaste that signals to your brain: “You’re not really eating a cheeseburger.” Maybe I couldn't achieve absolute perfection, but could I up that 95 percent satisfaction to somewhere around 98 percent?
The answer is yes. Just smash the patties.