National Hamburger Day - of course it's necessary to have a day just for that delicious American staple equal if not surpassing apple pie and baseball. But how did the hamburger first become associated with America...
A Brief History of the Hamburger*
Putting a piece of meat between two slices of bread is not an invention of recent centuries. Similar foods had existed in Europe as far back as Genghis Khan, specifically minced meat made into patties (can you say steak tartare
) that him and his followers then introduced to Moscow, Russia. Russian ships brought recipes using steak tartare to the Port of Hamburg; the city states that now comprise Germany adopted this minced meat and began making their own dishes. Hamburg being an important port in the 18th century for those traveling from the Old World to the new brought with them to America their recipes including the meat patties. While not yet a hamburger, a similar idea was set in place by the 4th Earl of Sandwich, an English aristocrat, in 1765 when he requested his meal to fit between two pieces of bread so he could eat and keep his hands clean while playing cards.