Enveloped by leaves of crispy lettuce, the freshest red tomatoes, pickles, onions, mayonnaise and ketchup, and a bun hoy and fresh from the oven is a succulent, flame-grilled, thick and tender beef patty. Throw in some fries or onion rings and you’re in for a great treat! The hamburger, every child, adolescent, and even adult’s favorite food has taken the world by storm, it is one of the most loved and celebrated dishes in the world. Many have been wondering as to where it actually originally came from and the answers are as varied as its side dishes.
In the 1800s, Hamburg, Germany was well known for its beef which came from cows raised and grazed free in their rural farmlands. Refrigeration, being unheard of in those times, could not prevent these delectable beef from spoiling. To solve this hurdle, the exceptional yet high priced Hamburg beef was finely chopped, seasoned with garlic, onions, salt and pepper, formed into patties and cooked straight away by grilling or frying.
Eventually, German nationals immigrated to America, settled mostly in Chicago and New York and started putting up eating places as a means to make a living.
It was in these eateries that the Hamburg steak was showcased and, in the fullness of time, was quite well-received despite its steep price in comparison to other items on the menu. As early as the 1800’s restaurants such as Delmonico’s in New York and Philadelphia served Hamburg steaks to thousands of customers who got hooked and kept coming back for more.
During the industrial revolution in the mid-1800s, the Americans generally depended on working in factories and mills in shifts that lasted the night for their livelihood. It was around these mills and factories where small food stands began mushrooming as they offered coffee and all sorts of snacks to tired and hungry laborers. In time, these food stands brought in gas-operated grills and started serving Hamburg steaks. Though appetizing and delectable, they turned out to be quite difficult to eat, especially when standing up. From need blossomed innovation and the hamburger sandwich made its debut. The Hamburg steak was strategically placed in between two pieces of bread or a bun and was thus very convenient to eat. Its popularity just kept on flourishing since then and, at the century’s turn, the hamburger sandwich has become an American classic.
Hamburger sandwiches have then continued to grow in popularity and, to date, hamburgers have enjoyed the world over. Over time innumerable varieties are concocted, and meat patties come in diverse flavors and combinations.
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