Why eat fake meat when you can eat a real potato?

Burger King Japan’s new meatless sandwich asks: Why imitate meat when potatoes are an option?

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Close-up of baked potatoes
Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance (Getty Images)

Last week, KFC’s new Beyond Fried Chicken sent me into a bit of an existential crisis. While many of you argued that the product is a healthier and slaughter-free KFC entree option, I don’t think that’s the whole story. The product is cooked in the same oil as KFC’s standard fried chicken, and it’s not as though KFC is pausing its rampant purchase of chicken corpses to make way for a limited-time offer like this one. Ultimately, we’re in the midst of a very pressing climate crisis, and we don’t have time for consumers to wrap their heads around fake meat. But potatoes? Potatoes, I can get behind. Enter Burger King Japan, which has just introduced a new meatless Guilty Butter Croquette Sandwich that relies on the natural glory of sweet, sweet taters.

Brand Eating reports that BK Japan’s new Guilty Butter Croquette Sandwich features a “crispy-fried potato croquette patty filled with butter as well as a butter-infused artisan burger bun.” Think of it as a buttery mashed potato sandwich that uses a potato croquette patty instead of a burger. (This product is not to be confused with Burger King Japan’s Fake Burger, released last year with a handful of French fries in lieu of a burger patty. That product was also topped with ground beef, so. Not sure what they were going for.)

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Please note: this is not a vegan plant-based product, as it appears to be slathered in both butter and a cheddar cheese sauce. It is, however, a meatless entree with no meaty imitation required. Despite the popularity of Beyond Meat and Impossible products, I ask you: Why imitate meat when you can present potatoes in their purest form? Why try to peddle meatless products to an unconvinced public when you can serve them gooey potato patties instead?

I’m not claiming that Burger King Japan has achieved a starchy solution to the climate crisis by introducing a potato burger. After all, these are the people behind the one-pound meat volcano. I’m more excited about the prospect of creating indulgent fast food items without the need for meat, imitation or otherwise. Is it healthy? No—but, unlike some imitation meat products, it’s not claiming to be. It’s a potato. It’s honest. Now we just gotta get the Guilty Butter Croquette Sandwich stateside.