Why A Hamburger Is Called A Hamburger

Today I found out why a hamburger is called hamburger. In the early 18th century some Germans noticed during their travels to Asia, that the locals would stuff their beef between their saddles while they would ride, to help soften it for later consumption. The Germans loved the idea of soft seasoned meat, and so they brought the idea back home with them to Hamburg. As time went on, it soon became known as Hamburg Meat.

A few years later, as German immigrants made their way to the U.S., they shared the recipe for Hamburg Meat. The first record of Hamburg meat in the United States was in 1884, when the Boston Evening Journal mentioned “Hamburg Steak.” It wasn’t long before people began to put their own spin on things. The first known “Hamburger” was made by Charlie Nagreen. He introduced his “American Hamburger” at the Outgamie County Fair in Seymour, Wisconsin in 1885. His “hamburger” though wasn’t on a bun and was of course without cheese or bacon. Oh, if he only knew what he was missing. I guess like most great things in history, it just took time to develop. The first known Hamburger on buns as we know it today, took place in St. Louis in the 1904 World Fair.

Bonus Facts:

  • In 1921 Walt Anderson, a cook from Wichita, Kansas convinced Billy Ingram to invest $700 to help him start the first Hamburger restaurant chain- The White Castle Hamburger chain.
  • The Big Mac was introduced in 1968 and cost $0.49. (with those outrageous prices, I’m surprised they didn’t call it a Whopper!)
  • The biggest hamburger ever served weighed 8,266 lbs. It was cooked in 2001 at the Burger Fest in Seymour, Wisconsin.
  • Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, Pennsylvania has offered a 6 pound hamburger, named Ye Olde 96er (6 pounds = 96 ounces) since 1998. It comes garnished with 2 whole tomatoes, 1/2 head of lettuce, 12 slices of American cheese, a cup of peppers, 2 whole onions, plus large quantities of mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. No one has been able to finish one.
  • The Hamburger hall of fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin.
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