Burger, the stripped name of Hamburger is partly a daily food habit for people globally. Let’s see some amazing facts and trivia about our favourite food!
1.The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city.
2. In German, Burg means “castle”, “fortified settlement” or “fortified refuge” and is a widespread component of place names.
3. The first element of the name is perhaps from Old High German hamma, referring to a bend in a river, or Middle High German hamme, referring to an enclosed area of pastureland.
4. Hamburger in German is the demonym of Hamburg, similar to frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods and demonyms of the cities of Frankfurt and Vienna (Wien), respectively.
5. The term “burger”, a back-formation, is associated with many different types of sandwiches, similar to a (ground meat) hamburger, but made of different meats such as buffalo in the buffalo burger, venison, kangaroo, turkey, elk, lamb or fish like salmon in the salmon burger, but even with meatless sandwiches as is the case of the veggie burger.
6. There have been many claims about the origin of the hamburger. There is a reference to a “Hamburg steak” as early as 1884 in the Boston Journal.[OED, under “steak”] On July 5, 1896, the Chicago Daily Tribune made a highly specific claim regarding a “hamburger sandwich” in an article about a “Sandwich Car”: “A distinguished favorite, only five cents, is Hamburger steak sandwich, the meat for which is kept ready in small patties and ‘cooked while you wait’ on the gasoline range.”
7. According to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, the hamburger, a ground meat patty between two slices of bread, was first created in America in 1900 by Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut.
8. White Castle traces the origin of the hamburger to Hamburg, Germany with its invention by Otto Kuase.
9. However, it gained national recognition at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair when the New York Tribune referred to the hamburger as “the innovation of a food vendor on the pike”.
10. No conclusive argument has ever ended the dispute over invention. An article from ABC News sums up: “One problem is that there is little written history. Another issue is that the spread of the burger happened largely at the World’s Fair, from tiny vendors that came and went in an instant. And it is entirely possible that more than one person came up with the idea at the same time in different parts of the country.”
11. Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, is said to have sold the first hamburger and steak sandwich in the U.S. in 1900.
12. 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. A customer ordered a quick hot meal and Louis was out of steaks. Taking ground beef trimmings, Louis made a patty and grilled it, putting it between two slices of toast.
13. Some critics like Josh Ozersky, a food editor for New York Magazine, claim that this sandwich was not a hamburger because the bread was toasted.
14. One of the earliest claims comes from Charlie Nagreen, who in 1885 sold a meatball between two slices of bread at the Seymour Fair now sometimes called the Outagamie County Fair.
15. The Seymour Community Historical Society of Seymour, Wisconsin, credits Nagreen, now known as “Hamburger Charlie”, with the invention. Nagreen was fifteen when he was reportedly selling pork sandwiches at the 1885 Seymour Fair, made so 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.
16. According to White Castle, Otto Kuase was the inventor of the hamburger. In 1891 he created a beef patty cooked in butter and topped with a fried egg. German sailors would later omit the fried egg
17. The family of Oscar Weber Bilby claim the first-known hamburger on a bun was served on July 4, 1891 on Grandpa Oscar’s farm. The bun was a yeast bun.
18. In 1995, Governor Frank Keating proclaimed that the first true hamburger on a bun was created and consumed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891, calling Tulsa, “The Real Birthplace of the Hamburger.”
19. Various non-specific claims of invention relate to the term “hamburger steak” without mention of its being a sandwich. The first printed American menu which listed hamburger is said to be an 1834 menu from Delmonico’s in New York.
20. However, the printer of the original menu was not in business in 1834.
21. In 1889, a menu from Walla Walla Union in Washington offered hamburger steak as a menu item.
22. Between 1871 and 1884, “Hamburg Beefsteak” was on the “Breakfast and Supper Menu” of the Clipper Restaurant at 311/313 Pacific Street in San Fernando, California. 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.
23. Adding cheese to hamburgers became popular in the late-1920s to mid-1930s, and there are several competing claims as to who created the first cheeseburger. Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have introduced the cheeseburger in 1926 at the age of 16 when he was working as a fry cook at his father’s Pasadena, California sandwich shop, “The Rite Spot,” and “experimentally dropped a slab of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger.”
24. An early example of the cheeseburger appearing on a menu is a 1928 menu for the Los Angeles restaurant O’Dell’s which listed a cheeseburger smothered with chili for 25 cents.
25. Other restaurants say they invented the cheeseburger. For example, Kaelin’s Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, said it invented the cheeseburger in 1934.
26.One year later, a trademark for the name “cheeseburger” was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado.
27. According to Steak ‘n Shake archives, the restaurant’s founder, Gus Belt, applied for a trademark on the word in the 1930s.
28. Currently, the most expensive cheeseburger in America belongs to New York City food truck 666 Burger. It’s a $666 burger that is wrapped in gold leaf and topped with lobster, caviar, truffles, foie gras, and aged gruyere cheese melted with steam from champagne poured on the hot griddle.
29. The largest cheeseburger ever made in the world weighed 2,014 pounds, “60 pounds of bacon, 50 pounds of lettuce, 50 pounds of sliced onions, 40 pounds of pickles and 40 pounds of cheese.” The record was broken by Minnesota’s Black Bear Casino breaking the pervious Cheeseburger record 881 pounds.
30. If all Hamburgers eaten by Americans in a year are arranged in a straight line, it would circle our Earth 32 times or more!
31. 60% of sandwiches sold globally are actually burgers.
32. McDonald’s holds the record of selling 300 billion burgers till date. The company sells 75 or more burgers every second.
33. Sonya Thomas holds the world record of eating a Big Daddy Cheeseburger weighing 9 pounds in exactly 27 minutes.