Blended Burger Project: How can chopped mushrooms improve a hamburger?

Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

Photo courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

This month we’ve been intrigued by interesting vegetables—when restaurants use them in new, novel, and unexpected ways. The James Beard Foundation has an idea along those lines: put them in a burger.

The Blended Burger Project, now in its second year, encourages restaurants to blend chopped mushrooms into their hamburgers (up to 25% of the patty by weight). Why? Mushrooms are a more sustainable product with a much smaller carbon footprint than beef, they add a rich, umami flavor to the patty, and make the burger juicier, while also making it healthier overall. These blended burgers are better for you and better for the planet than your standard all-beef patty.

For two months, May 30–July 31, several Twin Cities restaurants will feature a Blended Burger on their menus, including:

Blue Birch (Marriott Minneapolis Southwest)
Bryant Lake Bowl
Bulldog NE
Chef Shack
Eurest Dining (Eagan)
Marin Restaurant & Bar
Mill Valley Kitchen
Rock Elm Tavern (Plymouth)
Red Cow
Spoonriver
Tado Steakhouse (at Treasure Island)

Check out these fungus-infused burgers and vote for your favorite (the top five vote-getting burger chefs from across the country will be flown to an event at the James Beard House in New York later this fall).


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