The name “veggie burger” often leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths. For many people, a burger that isn’t made of meat isn’t worth eating. They believe that a burger made up of vegetables can’t possibly be as good as one made from juicy, greasy, meat. Or can it? In fact, the vegan burger has come a long way since it was first created.
Burgers made without meat have become increasingly more refined as chefs around the world have added their own little flair to make their burgers taste just as good and maybe even better than any burger made from meat. This is good news to any vegetarian, whether they be a strict vegan, or a casual semi-vegetarian. In fact, the news that there are vegan burgers out there that tastes as good as a meat one and is healthier for you, who wouldn’t be happy?
The Beginning of the Veggie Burger
Though we can’t trace back to find the first burger created without meat, historians have a pretty good idea of where at least the name came from. Gregory Sams and his brother Craig were the first to name their creation a “VegeBurger”. This innovative new patty was made from vegetables instead of meat, and was added to their London restaurant menu in 1982. A market in Southampton sold 2000 packets of these new burgers after the idea was launched.
Throughout the 80’s and 90’s other vegetable burgers were developed, such as the one created in Wenner’s vegetarian restaurant, The Gardenhouse, by Paul Wenner. Over the years, even more types of vegetable burgers were created. Today if you type “veggie burger” into a search engine online, you’ll see thousands of different recipes created by professional chefs, restaurant owners, and just everyday people who want to eat a burger that’s a little better for them.
Common Ingredients found in a Vegetable Hamburger Patty
Though there are thousands of recipes out there for different types of veggie burgers, nearly all of them have a couple of ingredients in common. The patty of course doesn’t contain any animal flesh, but unless it’s a vegan burger, it can contain various animal products like eggs or milk that are accepted parts of the diet of many vegetarians. Instead of animal meat, the patty is created with vegetables like corn, textured vegetable protein like soy, grains like wheat, seeds such as flax, and other ingredients like legumes, tofu, mushrooms, and nuts. They will also often also contain various seasonings to add to the flavor.
Keep in mind that even though lots of different veggie burgers have similar ingredients, they don’t all taste exactly the same. There is a wide variety of tastes and quality levels, just like any food. After all, in a regular burger what do you have? Often you’ll find meat, egg, and some breadcrumbs. But does every hamburger taste the same? Not at all. Yet sometimes people group every single burger made from vegetables into a single category. It doesn’t matter if the ingredients differ slightly or significantly, a veggie burger is a veggie burger and that’s that.
There are tons of recipe variations out there, in fact, more so that you find in a lot of foods. There are vegetarian burgers, vegan burgers, and even some veggie burgers that have a little bit of meat but are mostly vegetables. The trick to finding a good burger is being willing to go out and search for it. Try out a few different recipes and see which ones you like best. Maybe you can even try making your own burger if you find elements of some that you want to try and combine.
Finding Vegetable Burgers Everywhere
It might surprise many people to hear that veggie burgers can be found not only at vegetarian and vegan restaurants. In fact, there are famous fast food restaurants that serve veggie burgers at some of their locations around the world. Even restaurants that are known here for selling mostly meat products serve veggie burgers in places where vegetarianism is widespread.
You can also find really delicious burgers made from the healthiest of vegetables in some dietary companies. You might even be buying some “meat free meat” without even realizing it. Many vegetarian dishes can really be that good! So, the next time you’re at the grocery store or a restaurant and see those veggie burgers, don’t shudder in horror, but instead think of all the different possibilities. You could go home and create the ultimate vegan burger or find one made by professionals. Who knows, you might even find your new favorite food.