The History of the Hamburger

Burgers and fries, with ketchup and mustard - recipe of a classic American meal
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Burgers and fries, with ketchup and mustard - recipe of a classic American meal

The early history the hamburger in the US

The history of hamburger is a very interesting and delightful one, most of all among burger lovers. There several possible inventors of the hamburger including Charlie Nagreen, Frank and Charles Menches and Oscar Wilber Bilby.

The Story of Hamburger and Its Origins

The steak tartare is said to have come from the Mongols and brought it to the Russians. Steak tartare almost always comes with a raw egg yolk on top.
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The steak tartare is said to have come from the Mongols and brought it to the Russians. Steak tartare almost always comes with a raw egg yolk on top.

From Mongolia to Russia

The first hamburger chain is the one that brought us the famous little square hamburgers - White Castle in the early 1900s. And of course we all know about McDonald's which made the hamburger a superstar of American cuisine.

Many historians have given their own opinion based on their research. One belief is that it was first invented by the Mongols as ground meat patties. They were able to easily carry these and eat them on their long war.

It is said that, Kublai Khan (the famous Mongol ruler and son of Genghis Kahn) later brought it to Russia during war it was adopted by the locals and became "Steak Tartar". Tartar was the Russian name for the Mongols. During 17th century, the Russian steak tartar was brought to Germany and here it became known as "tartar steak".

Although the hamburger or Hamburg steak is said to have come from Germany, many countries have adapted its preparation to suit to their own local tastes. Here is the Japanese-style Hamburg steak
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Although the hamburger or Hamburg steak is said to have come from Germany, many countries have adapted its preparation to suit to their own local tastes. Here is the Japanese-style Hamburg steak

From Hamburg, Germany to New York, USA

By the late 18th century, sailors who came to the ports of Hamburg (Germany) and New York started using the name "Hamburg steak". It was quiet similar to the present hamburger. The ingredients included smoked and salted minced beef which was mixed with onions and breadcrumbs. They used both cooked and raw beef to make hamburger steak and later on, it became the staple food among the lower class people of Germany.

American hamburgers history is a bit murky - and is based on what the definition of hamburger is. The reality is that ground mashed beef has been around for hundreds of years in some form or fashion. What we think of as hamburgers today really came into being with the growth of White Castle, later McDonalds and today we have many many franchises including Five Guys, Burger King, Wendy's, Jack N the Box and N and Out Burger. We have no doubt what the definition of a hamburger is today.

The hamburger has gained such a mythos in Americana that we have chains that specialize in huge hamburgers, small hamburgers, square hamburgers, alternative meat hamburgers and much more. It's hard to find a American cuisine restaurant that doesn't serve some form of hamburger. Even fine steak houses offer their version of steak burgers. The hamburger is definitely here to stay.

The History of Hamburger - What You Need To Know

The Hamburger: A History ([Icons of America])
The Hamburger: A History ([Icons of America])
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 Last updated on March 26, 2014

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