The challenge: Drive demand for meatless burgers in Chicago, a city with a meat-packing heritage and dining culture centered around hot dogs, Italian beef and sausage. This is, after all, the city where Ferris Bueller impersonated Abe Froman, the fictional "sausage king of Chicago," on his legendary day off.
Yet that was the task of the Impossible Burger, a veggie burger made from plants that's meant to look and taste like the real thing. Some describe it as "juicy," "sizzling," or even "bleeding," even though it's made without meat. It comes from a Silicon Valley startup on a mission to prove plant-based foods can be just like real meat, or close enough to it. The burger, for now its first and only product, is made with ingredients including textured wheat protein, coconut oil and leghemoglobin (soy). The last one is so unfamiliar that it gets its own explanations on the company's FAQ page.