Today in Hamburger 101, we are going to learn about how the great hamburger came to have it’s name and why it is adored by so many to this day. It all started around either the 19th or 20th century. It is strongly believed that Americans were the first to invent the hamburger, but this is not exactly accurate. The idea of eating the two main ingredients: bread and beef separately had already been a popular thing to do, especially in Europe. But when the idea of combining the two and adding more to it like onions, lettuce, pickles, etc. was brought more into the light, that’s when it started to become more identified as an American product. Today, the hamburger is more identified as a fast food cuisine in America, although many restaurants offer different styled gourmet burgers as well.
Over the years, the idea of combining beef and bread with other condiments has spread all over the world. Everyone had their own different version of how they choose to make their burger. Whether it’s using a different kind of meat or a different kind of bread, there are endless ways to make a burger. That’s what makes them all the more better too because that way, everyone can enjoy their own unique kind of burger. There is no wrong or right way to make a hamburger sandwich. In America, however, it is more popular to use beef as a choice of meat and to also have melted cheese on top of it. The famous “cheeseburger” is what Americans are best known for, right next to apple pie and fried chicken. Although there has been much controversy on the hamburger’s nutritional values, it still remains of America’s top selling food items and is a historic icon.
In 1940, a man named Patrick McDonald and his two sons, Richard and Maurice, opened up a restaurant on U.S. Route 66 in San Bernardino, California. After analyzing their sales, they saw that 80% of their business was coming from selling hamburgers. When the restaurant first opened, the menu originally featured 25 different dishes. Surprisingly, the majority of the items on their menu were barbecued. After this discovery, in 1948 the family introduced the notion of of fast food to areas located in the Western United States. During the 1940’s, they began to concentrate more on simple and more efficient ways to make their food. They began to work towards making the preparation of the food in under a minute, and they also wanted to give their customers the ability to enjoy their food from the comfort of their own vehicles in a drive-in style. While this was all going on, they were also searching for ways to make a burger that was so inexpensive enough that it was able to stay within economic reach of most Americans. McDonald’s soon accomplished their goals and began to strive to make their methods even better. To this day they are still one of the world’s top fast food and burger franchises.