Tuesday, September 18, 2012

National Cheeseburger Day!

       So what actually makes up just a plain old fashioned Cheeseburger and what fixin's do you like to put on yours?
        Historically, "It's as American as, well, American cheese. But that’s as far as the patty’s origin gets narrowed down. Various eating establishments (mostly in California) claim to have invented the cheeseburger. The Pasadena Sun did due diligence in investigating the burger’s background and while it heavily leans toward one over the other, it’s left undecided. The front runner for the American classic is “The Rite Spot” in Pasadena, California. Legend has it, one of the cooks there, Lionel Clark Stenberger, slapped a piece of cheese on his burger and the rest was history. The year was around 1924, but could have been more like 1927. Backing up this assertion, the other main family laying claim to cheeseburger’s fame reportedly worked at the Rite Spot before going out on their own. While it took some American ingenuity to slap meat on some bread and render it a hand held sandwich, the concept of the patty itself was brought to the United States by German immigrants who had become fans of the Hamburg Steak. This cheap, chopped or roughly ground beef was mixed with fillers like breadcrumbs, suet and onions, bound with eggs and seasoned with nutmeg. The meat, often salted and smoked for preservation, was brought over to the United States by immigrants on the Hamburg America Line and became a popular menu item on New York City restaurants that catered to German sailors and European immigrants, hungry for the flavors of home. Time Magazine's Josh Ozersky asserts in his 2008 book, "The Hamburger: A History" that the modern day incarnation of the formed patty between two halves of a bun is "an American invention" with endless regional variations like the Connecticut steamed cheeseburger, Mississippi slugburger or Oklahoma onion burger. Various inventors have laid claim to that innovation, from Charles "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen, a vendor at the Seymour Fair in Wisconsin in 1885 and Fletcher Davis in Athens, Texas in the 1880s, to Frank and Robert Menches at the Erie Agricultural Fair in Hamburg, New York in 1885 (they also take credit for the invention of the ice cream cone at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904), or possibly Louis Lassen at Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut in 1900."
       Aside from all the history rumors, I believe that cheese burgers date back way before that, Any time man takes meat and slaps it between two pieces of bread, you have a burger... right? and they have been doing that since the beginning of time. :)
      My favorite way to eat a burger all depends on my mood. I love a thick juicy burger prepared using the same recipe as I use for my meatloaf. I like to mix a combination of meats like ground beef, pork and turkey.  Some grated carrots and onions, sauce, seasonings and bread crumbs, using an egg to bind in all together. Next, I get very creative with all the things I add on top... I have never made the same burger twice!

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