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.
Adding cheese to hamburgers became popular in the late-1920s to mid-1930s. 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. 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.”
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.
Other restaurants also claim to have invented the cheeseburger. For example, Kaelin’s Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, said it invented the cheeseburger in 1934. One year later, a trademark for the name “cheeseburger” was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado. According to Steak ‘n Shake archives, the restaurant’s founder, Gus Belt, applied for a trademark on the word in the 1930s.
The steamed cheeseburger, a variation almost exclusively served in central Connecticut, is believed to have been invented at a restaurant called Jack’s Lunch in Middletown, Connecticut, in the 1930s.
The ingredients used to create cheeseburgers follow similar patterns found in the regional variations of hamburgers, although most start with ground beef. Common cheeses used for topping are American, Swiss, and other meltable cheeses. Popular toppings include lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, bacon, avocado or guacamole, sliced sautéed mushrooms or onions, cheese sauce or chili, but the variety of possible toppings is broad.
A Jucy Lucy or Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger with cheese inside the meat instead of on top, resulting in a melted core of cheese. Two bars in Minneapolis claim to be the inventor of the cheeseburger, while other bars and restaurants have created their own interpretations of the style.
There are a lot of factors that go into determining the number of calories in your cheeseburger (how lean your ground beef is, whether you top your burger with anything, and what kind of bread you’re serving it on, to name a few). Quarter-pound cheeseburgers range anywhere from 400 to 700 calories
There are 150 calories in 1 burger of McDonald’s Cheeseburger (No Bun).
The world’s most expensive cheeseburger — the “Le Burger Extravagant” at NYC’s Serendipity 3 at $295.
Pizza Hut in the Middle East sells a cheeseburger crust pizza.
Hamburgers and cheeseburgers comprise 71% of the beef served in commercial restaurants.
The largest cheeseburger ever made weighed 914 kg (2,014 pounds). It is said to have included “27 kg (60 pounds) of bacon, 23 kg (50 pounds) of lettuce, 23 kg (50 pounds) of sliced onions, 18 kg (40 pounds) of pickles, and 18 kg (40 pounds) of cheese.” This record was set in 2012 by Minnesota’s
Black Bear Casino, breaking the previous record of 400 kg (881 pounds).
The largest cheese sculpture weighs 691.27 kg (1,524 lb) and was achieved by The Melt (USA) in Hollywood, California, USA, on 18 September 2015. Cheese carver Troy Landwehr created the sculpture of a cheeseburger in honour of National Cheeseburger Day from a 907.2 kg (2,000 lb) block of aged Wisconsin cheddar. The sculpture measures 114.3 cm (45 in) tall by 96.52 cm (38 in) in diameter, and features a separately-attached carved pickle which was not included in the measured weight per the guidelines.
Traditionally, this dish breaches the kosher laws observed by Judaism as it combines ground beef and cheese. Mixtures of milk and meat are prohibited according to Jewish religious law, following a verse in the Book of Exodus in which Jews are forbidden from “boiling a (kid) goat in its mother’s milk” (Exod. 34:26). This prohibition appears again in Deuteronomy. This dietary law sparked controversy in Jerusalem when McDonald’s began opening franchises there that sold cheeseburgers. Since that time, McDonald’s has opened both kosher and non-kosher restaurants in Israel.
In an attempt to provide a “kosher cheeseburger”, a kosher restaurant in New York City created a controversial cheeseburger variation which replaces cheese with soy cheese.
In the United States, National Cheeseburger Day is celebrated annually on September 18.