A hamburger or burger is a sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced bread roll or bun.
Hamburgers may be cooked in a variety of ways, including pan-frying, barbecuing, and flame-broiling.
A hamburger topped with a slice of cheese is called cheeseburger.
The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany‘s second-largest city. In German, Burg means “castle”, “fortified settlement” or “fortified refuge” and is a widespread component of place names.
While the inspiration for the hamburger did come from Hamburg, the sandwich concept was invented much later. In the 18th century, beef from German Hamburg cows was minced and combined with garlic, onions, salt and pepper, then formed into patties (without bread or a bun) to make Hamburg steaks.
The Hamburger most likely first appeared in the 19th or early 20th century.
The exact origin of the hamburger may never be known with any certainty.
The Library of Congress credits Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut as the creator of the hamburger as we know it.
Some historians believe that it was invented by a cook who placed a Hamburg steak between two slices of bread in a small town in Texas, and others credit the founder of White Castle for developing the “Hamburger Sandwich.” Records from that time are scarce, however.
The hamburger 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”.
Throughout the years hamburgers have become a symbol of American cuisine, though they are loved the world over.
Due to widely 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.
White Castle is the oldest burger chain in America. It was started in 1921 by Walter A. Anderson and E.W. Ingram who sold their burgers for 5 cents a piece.
Hamburgers may well be considered America’s favorite food. You can find them in hole-in-the-wall diners, at the drive-through windows of fast food chains, and on the menus of Michelin-starred restaurants.
On average, Americans eat three hamburgers a week. That’s a national total of nearly 50 billion burgers per year.
If all Hamburgers eaten by Americans in a year are arranged in a straight line, it would circle our Earth 32 times or more!
McDonald’s Corporation is the world’s largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries.
McDonald’s holds the record of selling more than 300 billion burgers till date.
Worldwide, McDonald’s sells 75 hamburgers per second!
The Big Mac was introduced in 1968 and sold for 49 cents.
In 1996 McDonalds attempted to introduce a hamburger called the “Arch Deluxe,” a higher-end burger marketed specifically to adults. It was soon discontinued after failing to become popular despite a massive marketing campaign and now is considered one of the most expensive flops of all time.
Glamburger is burger that features bits of edible gold leaf, lobster and caviar. One of the most expensive burgers ever created, it also includes ingredients like black truffle, Kobe beef, venison and a duck egg. The burger, which was created in 2014 by Honky Tonk restaurant in London, cost £1,100, or $1,700.
The most expensive hamburger sells for $5,000 and is prepared by Juicys Foods and Ovations Foodservices for Juicys Outlaw Grill, based in Corvallis, Oregon, USA, as of 2 July 2011. But it is also the largest commercially available hamburger in the world, at 352.44 kilograms (777 pounds) including meat and toppings.
The largest hamburger weighed 913.54 kg (2,014 lb) and was prepared by Black Bear Casino Resort (USA), Carlton, Minnesota, USA, on 2 September 2012. The hamburger was topped with 23.81 kg (52.5 lb) of tomatoes, 22.68 kg (50 lb) of lettuce, 27.22 kg (60 lb) of onion, 8.62 kg (19 lb) of pickles, 18.14 kg (40 lb) of American cheese and 7.48 kg (16.5 lb) of bacon.
Sonya Thomas holds the world record of eating a Big Daddy Cheeseburger weighing 4 kilograms (9 pounds) in exactly 27 minutes. She also holds a record for eating seven 340 grams (3/4 lb) burgers in 10 mins.
In Las Vegas, Nevada at the Heart Attack Grill there is a Quadruple Bypass Burger. The burger weighs two pounds and the name is derived from the fact that the burger is unhealthy. The restaurant is known for being honest about the fact that their food is unhealthy. They allow people that weigh over 160 kilograms (350 pounds) to eat for free.
On August 5, 2013, the first hamburger made from meat lab grown from cow stem cells was served. The hamburger was the result of research in the Netherlands led by Mark Post at Maastricht University and sponsored by Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin.
Twisted Root Burger Co., a Texas, USA – based restaurant chain, is known to serve burgers with meat choices of kangaroo, beaver, Llama, ostrich/emu and more.
A national animal rights group has offered Hamburg, New York, USA officials $15,000 to change the town’s name to Veggieburg.
In 2009, fast food chain Burger King launched a campaign announcing a free (Whopper) burger to anyone who unfriended 10 people on Facebook. The publicity stunt was titled ‘Whopper Sacrifice’ and it broke some 233,906 friendships before it was stopped.
Muhammad Ali, being refused a hamburger and told, “We don’t serve negroes”, replied, “That’s OK. I don’t eat ’em.”
In 2004-2005, McDonalds paid rappers to mention Big Macs in their songs and paid them $5 each time their songs got played on the radio.
“$100 hamburger” (“hundred-dollar hamburger”) is aviation slang for a general aviation pilot needing an excuse to fly. A $100 hamburger trip typically involves flying a short distance (less than two hours),eating at an airport restaurant, and flying home.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, hamburger was first abbreviated to burger in 1939.
The Hamburger hall of fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin. It celebrates hamburger history.