That gust of air tickling your cheek could very well be the combined relieved exhalations of cows around the world. Why? Because someone has figured out how to grow a burger in a lab and has now cooked it up and served it to discerning members of the media. You’re not home-free yet though, Bessie. Just because it looks like a burger doesn’t mean it’s got the same beefy taste.
It’s taken a few months since we first heard of this scientific effort to grow cells from a cow and turn them into a patty of meat, but the researchers behind the effort have finally unleashed the frankenburger at a news conference in London today, reports the BBC.
The scientists see the burger as a start toward meeting the demand for meat in a more sustainable way, as well as combat food shortages around the globe.
A chef from Cornwall fired up the grill to cook the patty, which was then tasted by food critics and other researchers. So what did it actually taste like? A lab test dressed up in cow clothing, or an actual facsimile of a meaty burger?
Austrian food researcher: “I was expecting the texture to be more soft… there is quite some intense taste; it’s close to meat, but it’s not that juicy. The consistency is perfect, but I miss salt and pepper,” and also, “This is meat to me. It’s not falling apart.”
Food writer: “The mouthfeel is like meat. I miss the fat, there’s a leanness to it, but the general bite feels like a hamburger,” and “What was consistently different was flavour.”
It sounds like salt and pepper could be grown in the lab and added to the patty, eh?
Scientist who engineered the burger: “It’s a very good start.” It’ll also take some more work before frankenburgers are sold to the public, he says. “This is just to show we can do it.”
If cows could give each other high fives, this is when they’d do it.