We all love burgers (this
includes vegetarian varieties), but sure enough, not many know about the
burger's history. Read more ....
Wild, nomadic horsemen from various tribes of Tartary, invent the century's
earliest known precursor of the hamburger. Legend has it that as they pushed
their way across Russia and Eastern Europe, it was their custom to place a filet
under their saddle for safekeeping. By dinnertime, the steak was tenderized and
ready to serve, minced and uncooked.
14th Century Hamburg, Germany:
German merchant sailors crossing the Baltic Sea observe the Latvians, Estonians
and Finns eating an early version of steak tartar chopped raw beef. The Germans
acquire a taste for it and bring it back to Hamburg. Resourceful German chefs
cook the meat lightly with chopped onions. The result... the Hamburg Steak.
The Hamburg Steak is introduced to the United States by German immigrants in the
form of broiled chopped steak. Hamburg Steak gradually makes its way onto the
menus of American restaurants.
The first documented American appearance of the Hamburg Steak is on the menu of
New York's fabled Delmonico's restaurant.
According to some sources, Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin invents the
American hamburger at the age of 15 when he delivers it from his ox-drawn
concession stand at the Outagamie County Fair.
A German, Frank Menches, introduced the sandwich at his fast food stall at the
Summit County Fair in Ohio, when he runs out of bulk pork sausage for his
sandwiches and substitutes beef.
Hamburg Steak makes its first cookbook appearance in Fannie Farmer's Boston
Another story credits Louis Lassen of New Haven Connecticut, with creating the
hamburger steak in 1900 as a means for using the trimmings from the steak
sandwich he features at his lunch wagon.
The hamburger gets its first widespread attention at the 1904 World's Fair in
St. Louis, Missouri where it creates a sensation. Several authorities believe
the vendor in question was Fletcher Davis, who owned a lunch counter in Athens,
Texas. Davis' offspring say he's the king of the burger makers.
Short-order cook, J. Walter Anderson, later owner and creator of White Castle,
creates the first hamburger bun. Prior to 1916, hamburgers were generally served
between two slices of bread.
Hamburger pioneers Walt Anderson and Billy Ingram found their first White Castle
in Wichita, Kansas, featuring square, baby burgers sold by the sack. White
Castle will later become the world's first hamburger chain.
California grill chef Lionel Sternberger concocts the first "cheese
hamburger" in Pasadena, California at The Rite Spot restaurant.
The White Castle chain develops the first pre-frozen patties.
The double-decker is created by Bob Wian, later owner of Bob's Big Boy, at his
first hamburger stand in Glendale, California.
1995 to present:
Today, burgers remain America's, and Filipinos'
as well, favorite food.