One of America’s Favorites – the HamBurgerMarch 28, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Posted in BEEF, Food, grilling, Ground Pork, ground turkey | 7 Comments
Tags: April 1995, Charlie Nagreen, Hamburg, McDonald, NEW YORK, Salisbury steak, Texas, Wendy
A hamburger (also called a hamburger sandwich, burger or hamburg) is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat
(usually beef, but occasionally pork or a combination of meats) usually placed inside a sliced bread roll. Hamburgers are often served with lettuce, bacon, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese and condiments such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and relish.
The term “burger”, can also be applied to the meat patty on its own, especially in the UK where the term “patty” is rarely used. The term may be prefixed with the type of meat as in “beef burger”.
The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany‘s second largest city, from where many people emigrated to the United States. In High German, Burg means fortified settlement or fortified refuge; and is a widespread component of place names. Hamburger can be a descriptive noun in German, referring to someone from Hamburg (compare London -> Londoner) or an adjective describing something from Hamburg. Similarly, frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods, are also used in Germany and Austria as descriptive nouns for people and as adjectives for things from the cities of Frankfurt and Wien (Vienna), respectively. The term “burger” is associated with many different types of sandwiches similar to a (ground beef) hamburger, using different meats, such as a buffalo burger, venison, kangaroo, turkey, elk, salmon burger or veggie burger.
The first printed American menu which listed hamburger was claimed to be an 1826 menu from Delmonico’s in New York. However,the printer of the original menu was not in business in 1834.
Between 1871-1884, “Hamburg Beefsteak” was on the “Breakfast and Supper Menu” of the Clipper Restaurant at 311/313 Pacific Street in San Fernando. It cost 10 cents—the same price as mutton chops, pig’s feet in batter, and stewed veal. It was not, however, on the dinner menu, only “Pig’s Head” “Calf Tongue” and “Stewed Kidneys” were listed.
Hamburger Steak, Plain and Hamburger Steak with Onions, was served at the Tyrolean Alps Restaurant at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
According to the Library of Congress, Louis’ Lunch, in New Haven, Connecticut, is the original American Hamburger, being served since 1895.
Texas historian Frank X. Tolbert attributes the American version of the Glasse cookbook to Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas. Davis is believed to have sold hamburgers at his café at 115 Tyler Street in Athens, Texas in the late 1880s, then brought them to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. An article about Louis’ Lunch in The New York Times on January 12, 1974 stated that the McDonald’s hamburger chain claims the inventor was an unknown food vendor at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Tolbert’s research documented that this vendor was in fact Fletcher Davis. Dairy Queen spokesman Bob Phillips made a similar claim for Dairy Queen in a commercial filmed in Athens in the 1980s calling the town the birthplace of the hamburger.
Residents of Hamburg, New York, which was named after Hamburg, Germany, attribute the hamburger to Ohioans Frank and Charles Menches. According to legend, the Menches brothers were vendors at the 1885 Erie County Fair (then called the Buffalo Fair) when they ran out of sausage for sandwiches and used beef instead. They named the result after the location of the fair. However, Frank Menches’s obituary in The New York Times states instead that these events took place at the 1892 Summit County Fair in Akron, Ohio.
The Seymour Community Historical Society of Seymour, Wisconsin, credits Charlie Nagreen, now known as “Hamburger Charlie”, with the invention of the hamburger. Nagreen was fifteen when he reportedly made sandwiches out of meatballs that he was selling at the 1885 Seymour Fair (now the Outagamie County Fair), so that customers could eat while walking. The Historical Society explains that Nagreen named the hamburger after the Hamburg steak with which local German immigrants were familiar.
The Library of Congress credits Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, for selling the first hamburger and steak sandwich in the U.S. in 1895. New York magazine states that, “The dish actually had no name until some rowdy sailors from Hamburg named the meat on a bun after themselves years later”, noting also that this claim is subject to dispute.
There is good evidence that the first hamburger served on a bun was made by Oscar Weber Bilby of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891.
“In April of 1995, the Dallas Morning News reported Oklahoma author says Tulsa beats out Texas as the birthplace of delicacy. Michael Wallis, author of “Route 66, The Mother Road”, was quoted by the newspaper to say he had discovered Tulsa’s place in culinary history. The discovery was made while researching the state’s tastiest hamburgers. What better place to start than the restaurant that has been voted Tulsa’s best burger more often than any other restaurant since 1933…Weber’s Root Beer Stand. Mr. Wallis’ research revealed that Oscar Weber Bilby was the first person to serve a real hamburger. On July 4, 1891, ground beef was served on his wife’s homemade buns. The Fourth of July party took place on his farm, just west of present day Tulsa. Until then, ground beef had been served in Athens, Texas on simple slices of bread, known presently and then as a “patty melt”. According to the Tulsa-based author, the bun is essential. Therefore, in 1995, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating cited Athens, Texas’ feat of ground beef between two slices of bread to be a minor accomplishment. The Governor’s April 1995 Proclamation also cites the first true hamburger on the bun, as meticulous research shows, was created and consumed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891. The Governor’s Proclamation on April 13, 1995 cites Tulsa as “The Real Birthplace of the Hamburger.”
The hamburger bun was invented in 1916 by a fry cook named Walter Anderson, who co-founded White Castle in 1921.
* 1921 — White Castle, Wichita, Kansas. Due to widely prevalent anti-German sentiment in the U.S. during World War I, an alternative name for hamburgers was Salisbury steak. Following the war, hamburgers became unpopular until the White Castle restaurant chain marketed and sold large numbers of small 2.5-inch square hamburgers, known as sliders. They started to punch five holes in each patty, which help them cook evenly and eliminates the need to flip the burger. White Castle began in 1995 selling frozen hamburgers in convenience stores and vending machines.
* 1940 — McDonald’s restaurant, San Bernardino, California, opened by Richard and Maurice McDonald. Their introduction of the “Speedee Service System” in 1948 established the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant. The McDonald brothers began franchising in 1953. In 1961, Ray Kroc (the supplier of their multi-mixer milkshake machines) purchased the company from the brothers for $2.7 million and a 1.9% royalty.
Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually
mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site. These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. Generally most American hamburgers are round, but some fast-food chains, such as Wendy’s, sell square-cut hamburgers. Hamburgers in fast food restaurants are usually grilled on a flat-top, but some firms, such as Burger King use a gas flame grilling process. At conventional American restaurants, hamburgers may be ordered “rare” (occasionally requiring the signing of a waiver), but normally are served medium-well or well-done for food safety reasons. Fast food restaurants do not usually offer this option.
The McDonald’s fast-food chain sells the Big Mac, one of the world’s top selling hamburgers. Other major fast-food chains, including Burger King (also known as Hungry Jack’s in Australia), A&W, Culver’s, Whataburger, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s chain, Wendy’s (known for
their square patties), Jack in the Box, Cook Out, Harvey’s, Shake Shack, In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, Fatburger, Vera’s, Burgerville, Back Yard Burgers, Lick’s Homeburger, Roy Rogers, Smashburger and Sonic also rely heavily on hamburger sales. Fuddruckers and Red Robin are hamburger chains that specialize in mid-tier “restaurant-style” variety of hamburgers.
Some North American establishments offer a unique take on the hamburger beyond what is offered in fast food restaurants, using upscale ingredients such as sirloin or other steak along with a variety of different cheeses, toppings, and sauces. Some examples would be the Bobby’s Burger Palace chain founded by well-known chef and Food Network star Bobby Flay.
Hamburgers are often served as a fast dinner, picnic or party food, and are usually cooked outdoors on barbecue grills.
Raw hamburger may contain harmful bacteria that can produce food-borne illness such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, due to the occasional initial improper preparation of the meat, so caution is needed during handling and cooking. Because of the potential for food-borne illness, the USDA recommends hamburgers be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 °F (80 °C). If cooked to this temperature, they are considered well-done.
A high-quality hamburger patty is made entirely of ground (minced) beef and seasonings; this may be described as an “all-beef hamburger” or “all-beef patties” to distinguish them from inexpensive hamburgers made with added flour, textured vegetable protein, ammonia treated defatted beef trimmings what the company Beef Products Inc, calls “lean finely textured beef”, Advanced meat recovery (see below: Health-related controversies) or other filler to decrease their cost. In the 1930s ground liver was sometimes added to the patties. Some cooks prepare their patties with binders, such as eggs or breadcrumbs. Seasonings may be included with the hamburger patty including salt and pepper, and others such as parsley, onions, soy sauce, Thousand Island dressing, onion soup mix, or Worcestershire sauce. Many name brand seasoned salt products are also used.
Burgers can also be made with patties made from ingredients other than beef. For example, a turkey burger uses ground turkey meat, a chicken burger uses ground chicken meat. A buffalo burger uses ground meat from a bison, and an ostrich burger is made from ground seasoned ostrich meat. A deer burger uses ground venison from deer.
Rehydrated textured vegetable protein, TVP, has a more than 50 year safe-track record of inexpensively extending ground beef for hamburgers, without reducing its nutritional value.
A veggie burger, garden burger, or tofu burger uses a meat analogue, a meat substitute such as tofu, TVP, seitan (wheat gluten), quorn, beans, grains or an assortment of vegetables, ground up and mashed into patties.
In 2011, a Japanese scientist named Mitsuyuki created a synthetic burger made from human feces. The “burger” consisted of synthesized protein with soya and steak sauce for taste preservation. Mitsuyuki claimed the taste was similar to beef, and explained that the makeup of the burger was 63 percent protein, 25 percent carbohydrates, three percent lipids and nine percent minerals.
In the United States and Canada, burgers may be classified as two main types: fast food hamburgers and individually prepared burgers made in homes and restaurants. The latter are traditionally prepared “with everything”, which includes lettuce, tomato, onion, and often sliced pickles (or pickle relish). Coleslaw and french fries usually accompany the burger. Cheese (usually processed cheese slices but often Cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, or blue), either melted on the meat patty or crumbled on top, is generally an option.
Condiments might be added to a hamburger or may be offered separately on the side including mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings and barbecue sauce.
Other toppings include bacon, avocado or guacamole, sliced sautéed mushrooms, cheese sauce and/or chili (usually without beans), fried egg, scrambled egg, feta cheese, blue cheese, salsa, pineapple, jalapenos and other kinds of chile peppers, anchovies, slices of ham or bologna, pastrami or teriyaki-seasoned beef, tartar sauce, french fries, onion rings or potato chips.
Standard toppings on hamburgers may depend upon location, particularly at restaurants that are not national or regional franchises. A “Texas burger” uses mustard as the only sauce, and comes with or without vegetables, jalapeno slices, and cheese. In the Upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, burgers are often made with a buttered bun, butter as one of the ingredients of the patty or with a pat of butter on top of the burger patty. This is called a “butter burger”. In the Carolinas, for instance, a Carolina-style hamburger “with everything” may be served with cheese, chili, onions, mustard, and coleslaw. National chain Wendy’s sells a “Carolina Classic” burger with these toppings in these areas. In Hawaii hamburgers are often topped with teriyaki sauce, derived from the Japanese-American culture, and locally grown pineapple. Waffle House claims on its menus and website to offer 70,778,880 different ways of serving a hamburger. In portions of the Midwest and East coast, a hamburger served with lettuce, tomato, and onion is called a “California burger”. This usage is sufficiently widespread to appear on the menus of Dairy Queen. In the Western U.S., a “California” burger often means a cheeseburger, with guacamole and bacon added. Pastrami burgers may be served in Salt Lake City, Utah.
*A hamburger with two patties is called a “double decker” or simply a “double”, a hamburger with three patties is called a “triple”. Doubles and triples are often combined with cheese and sometimes with bacon, yielding a “double cheeseburger” or a “triple bacon cheeseburger”, or alternatively, a “bacon double or triple cheeseburger”.
*A hamburger smothered in red or green chile is called a slopper.
*A patty melt consists of a patty, sautéed onions and cheese between two slices of rye bread. The sandwich is then buttered and fried.
*A slider is a very small square hamburger patty sprinkled with diced onions and served on an equally small bun. According to the earliest citations, the name originated aboard U.S. Navy ships, due of the way greasy burgers slid across the galley grill while the ship pitched and rolled. Other versions claim the term “slider” originated from the hamburgers served by flight line galleys at military airfields, which were so greasy they slid right through you; or because their small size allows them to “slide” right down your throat in one or two bites.
*In Alberta, Canada a “kubie burger” is a hamburger made with a pressed Ukrainian sausage (kubasa).
*In Minnesota, a “Juicy Lucy”, or “Jucy Lucy”, is a hamburger having cheese inside the meat patty rather than on top. A piece of cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked until it melts, resulting in a molten core of cheese within the patty. This scalding hot cheese tends to gush out at the first bite, so servers frequently warn patrons to let the sandwich cool for a few minutes before consumption.
*A low carb burger is a hamburger where the bun is omitted and large pieces of lettuce are used in its place, with mayonnaise and/or mustard being the sauces primarily used.