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White Castle introduces vegetarian fake meat version of its famous mini-burgers. The burger uses a patty made by a California-based start-up, Impossible Foods.

White-castle-introduces-Vegetarian-fake-meat-versionThe idea revolves around making product of plant-based ingredients taste. It will be initially sold at 140 White Castle eateries in the New York, New Jersey and greater Chicago areas with the potential for a nationwide rollout.

The White Castle Impossible Slider made with smoked cheddar cheese, pickles, onions and a bun. It features a 2-ounce patty and costs $1.99. That compares to the chain’s traditional 0.9-ounce mini-cheeseburger at about 94 cents, depending on the store location.

The new choice might come as a surprise to White Castle fans, especially since the fake-beef burgers have largely been confined to more highbrow burger chains and restaurants until now. But White Castle executives figured it was time to give fake beef a try.

“Plant-based proteins are growing. We felt it was a good opportunity to test it with our customers,” CEO Lisa Ingram said.  She also said the new sliders might bring in new customers.

The new Slider is bigger, because “the new taste comes through more fully” when that size patty is on the regular 2-inch-squared bun, according to the company.

Plant-based meat alternatives are growing at rate of about 11% a year, according to the research firm Acosta. Impossible Foods’ burger is made of water, wheat protein, potato protein, coconut oil and an iron-heavy molecule that gives it its meaty taste.