Here we are at the start of the Memorial Day Weekend, the unofficial start of summer. What could be more appropriate at this time of year than to celebrate National Hamburger Day? Break out your grill, and fire it up. While you are waiting for those coals to get ready, you might want to read a little bit about the history of the hamburger. According to several sites I looked at, the invention of the hamburger is clouded in some confusion, and, of course, controversy. Most of the information in this article can be found on About.com’s Barbeques and Grilling site hosted by Derrick Riches. Here is the link to the site if you want to read more:http://bbq.about.com/cs/hamburgers/a/aa070597.htm
The origin of the hamburger goes all the way back to Medieval times, when the Tartars used to put beef slabs under their saddle which would tenderize it while they rode, and then they would eat this meat raw.
In the 19th century, German immigrants brought a dish they called Hamburg style beef to the U. S. This may be the origin of the name hamburger. The modern hamburger is thought to go back to the late 19th century. Who made the first hamburger as we know it is where the controversy comes in. One story says that a Louis Lassen made the first hamburger somewhere around 1895 for a hurried customer at his restaurant. Others claim it was Charles Nagreen or the Menches brothers who made the first hamburger around 1885 at local fairs. Who knows? Fast food distribution of hamburgers started in 1921 with White Castle burgers. In 1934, WimpyBurgers appeared. Then in the late 30’s Bob’s Big Boy introduced the double burger. Hamburgers became more popular with the introduction of the drive-in reataurant.
Hamburgers have become an American obsession, right along with Mom and apple pie. According to the article in About.com, most Americans eat 3 hamburgers per week. And McDonalds has sold an amazing 12 hamburgers for every person in the world!
So no matter how you like them: with relish or mayonaise, mustard or cheese or ketchup, broiled or grilled, with or without the bun, enjoy that hamburger this weekend!