Bah Hamburger: Exploring the Origins of an American Favorite

Imagine 2 soft and warm buns, slices of juicy and tart tomatoes, and fresh, crisp lettuce. Now, think of a thick, well-seasoned beef patty to balance out the bread and the vegetables. Mouthwatering, isn’t it? It’s none other than the hamburger, the poster child of food globalization. This beefy fare is also widely considered America’s favorite.

From a popular fast food stall to the best patio restaurant at Emory Point, GA, burgers are everywhere. Despite its status as a well-loved food, not a lot of people have heard of its beginning. You might be surprised to find out that these patties have been revamped in many locations before settling in America.

Northeast Asia and the Steak Tartare

Genghis Khan established the Mongol Empire after uniting nomadic tribes in the northeast. He went on to conquer a majority of Eurasia with the help of an army of horsemen. The Mongol warriors would be on their horses for great periods. Therefore, they needed food that can (or shall we say khan) be eaten with one hand. The army then decided to take pieces of lamb and mutton and formed them into patties. These patties were ground by the saddle and the horse as they rode.

This ground meat dish reached Russia when Kublai Khan, Genghis Khan’s grandson, invaded the area. The Russians then took it as their own, adding raw eggs and chopped onions. It became known as “Steak Tartare.”

Germany and the Hamburg Steak

When people aboard German ships reached the Russian port, they took a liking to the steak. These sailors brought the beef dish back home to Germany and called them “Tartare Steak.” Its popularity spread throughout the country, inspiring Germans to create their own take on the minced beef delicacy.

Elsewhere, Hamburg was gaining popularity for their countryside cows and their beef quality. The preparation of Hamburg beef was similar to that of the tartare’s. It was ground, seasoned, and shaped into discs. This was happening at a time when people went on transatlantic voyages to flee from revolutions taking place in Europe. The Hamburg America Line brought many Europeans, including Germans, across the Atlantic. The burger hadn’t quite found its way to a fast food window and the best restaurant at Emory Point, GA yet, but it was close.

North America and Hamburgers

In the 19th century, German immigrants arrived on American soil. To earn a living, many of them set up restaurants that introduced Americans to German cuisine. Some dishes, like the Hamburg Steak, were tweaked to better suit the American palate. Pounded beef had bits of onion and garlic folded in, and then seasoned with salt and pepper. The meaty circles were served either grilled or fried. This proved to be an instant hit with the Americans.

The industrial revolution saw many laborers who were in need of sustenance. Food carts were set up to provide meals that could be eaten while standing up. So that the workers could enjoy the Hamburg, carts sold the steaks between slices of bread.

Did all that reading make you hungry? Why not order a burger from the best patio restaurant in Emory Point, GA.

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