The hamburger is a classic American food dish. However, the earliest form of this sandwich goes back to 1800’s Germany. Even earlier versions of minced meat are linked to the Mongol Empire in the 1100’s. These early ‘hamburgers’ were usually served as raw ground meat.
Photo: The hamburger sandwich has become a global food (Creative Commons: Elliot).
Birth of the Hamburger
Hamburger is ground beef. The eating of ground meat goes back to the Mongol Empire in the 1100’s. The army of Genghis Khan ate ground meat. Their soldiers placed patties of ground meat under the saddles of their horses. This was then eaten raw when the army was on the move. The Mongols invaded Russia in 1238. Steak tartare (raw ground meat) soon became a popular Russian dish.
During the 1600’s Hamburg became an important port city in Germany. Steak tartare was brought to Germany from Russia through this port. By the late 1700’s, the ‘Hamburg steak’ had become a popular German meal. The ‘Hamburg steak’ was a seasoned ground beef patty served cooked or raw.
The American Hamburger
In the 1800’s, waves of European immigrants arrived in America. At the time, ships of the Hamburg Lines came to America regularly. The ships served a grilled Hamburg steak between two slices of bread. The Hamburg steak soon set foot in America with the German immigrants.
The Hamburg steak soon became the American hamburger. In 1891, Oscar Weber Bilby served a grilled beef patty on a bun. Bilby developed the hamburger in Oklahoma and it became a popular dish across the nation.
The Global Hamburger
In the 1900’s the fast food industry appeared. In 1926, the White Castle Restaurant became the first fast food company to serve the burger. In 1940, the McDonald’s fast food restaurant was established. They helped make the hamburger widely available to Americans.
McDonald’s soon began to establish franchises in other countries. By the late 1990’s McDonald’s had franchises located in over 100 countries. People from China to South America began to accept the hamburger into their diet.
The modern hamburger sandwich originated in the United States in the late 1800’s. By the mid 1900’s, fast food chains such as McDonald’s popularized the hamburger. The dish became an American classic. Through international franchises, the hamburger has now become global food dish.
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Hamburgers – History and Legends of Hamburgers, What’s Cooking America.
The Perfect Way to Hold a Hamburger, Proven by Science, Kotaku.