12.050 Plant Whopper

12.050

24 (Wed) February 2021

Plant Whopper

1.5

at Burger King

-Jangji, Songpa, Seoul, Republic of Korea-

solo

Plant Whopper is a burger from Burger King Korea.  Presumably the same item as the Impossible Whopper and Rebel Whopper and Plant-Based Whopper in other markets.  According to the ads in Korea, the patty is “0% beef (which could mean it’s 100% pork), 100% flame grilled.”  The rest of the burger is the same as the standard Whopper.

First, I think the name is off-putting.  To me, “plant” is an overly broad category that includes all types and all components of vegetation.  By contrast, “vegetable” is limited to the edible types and edible components of vegetation.  Thus, “Plant Whopper” suggests that the patty could be made with bits of vegetation that otherwise would not be considered edible, like peanut shells or carrot roots or grape bunchstems or tree bark or jungle vines or lily pads.

I started by breaking off a chunk of patty and tasting it on its own.  It was dry and crumbly, yet somehow kinda mushy, reminiscent of an oatmeal cookie, not at all juicy or chewy like meat.  It was nearly flavorless, a bare trace of smokiness – not real char from the “100% flame grilling,” but infused into the patty as if with a flavor additive.

When eaten as part of the full burger, the patty’s shortcomings were less noticeable per se, but the overall experience was far from satisfying.  I mean, the traditional Whopper is one of the beefiest burgers around, so the lack of beef in the Plant Whopper makes a fundamental difference.  The plant-based patty might work better in something like a Big Mac, masked by the cheese and sauce.  If someone had given me a Plant Whopper in plain packaging and insisted that it was made with meat, I might believe it yet conclude that it was very poor quality meat. 

I will likely never order one again but wouldn’t object to eating it again if I had to, say, if I had a vegetarian girlfriend and she wanted to share one with me.

Whatever happened to soy burgers, which I seem to recall from my childhood were pretty good?  Granted, that was 40 years ago, and I wasn’t biting off pieces of the patty to analyze it.

From left, top row: Plant BBQ Whopper, Plant Whopper, Stacker 2 Whopper, Stacker 3 Whopper.   From left, middle row: Stacker 4 Whopper, Real Whopper, Bulgogi Whopper, Cheese Whopper.  From left, bottom row: Bacon Cheese Whopper, Jalapeño Whopper, Whole Shrimp Whopper Jr Set.

This is the current line-up of Whoppers available at Burger King Korea (see website).

From left, top row: Guinness Quattro Cheese Whopper, Guinness Whopper, Guinness Mushroom Whopper, Monster Whopper.   From left, bottom row: Quattro Cheese Whopper, Truffle Mushroom Whopper, Whole Shrimp Whopper.

Puzzling mixed messaging to launch a plant-based burger while doubling, tripling, and quadrupling down on the beef burgers.

Calling the standard Whopper now a “Real Whopper” would seem to suggest that the other Whoppers are fake Whoppers.

Don’t know why the Whopper Jr only comes with shrimp and only as a set.

Items that I feel compelled to try, knowing that I will probably not like them, if only to make fun of them on GMTD: Stacker 4 Whopper, Guinness Quattro Cheese Whopper, Truffle Mushroom Whopper.

(See also FOODS.)

(See also PLACES.)

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