We grill ground beef patties and serve them on a loaf of bread with a few condiments. We don’t put a ham in it, but we call it a hamburger. Bu, why? Where did the famous American burger get its name?
Why are hamburgers called burgers? Should the beef, hot dog and all other grilled meats bear such misleading names when served in a bun? Here’s a little story that explains how we called this delicious hamburger with the strangest food names.
Why Are They Called Hamburgers?
In the 18th century Germany, the city of Hamburg made pieces of salted meat called Hamburg steaks. It’s the top-rated meat product for sailors at that time. Seafarers buy the Hamburg steak to bring along on their journey to the North Americas. Although not as appealing as the modern-day steak, these hard cuts of meat withstood long periods of travel. The German sailors brought them to the United States.
When some of these German sailors decided to settle, they kept their favourite Hamburg steak along with them. As the Americans got used to this German meat pie, the new hamburger was born.
The Naming of the American Burger
So where does the modern hamburger come from? Well, your guess is as good as ours. People tell different stories about it. Historical records are not quite clear about its origin. Some say that hamburgers came from a small coffee shop in Athens, Texas, in 1880, or in a New Haven food wagon in 1900.
But, no matter who invented the hamburger concept, there is one essential element in the food that we know for sure for its true creator. The real inventor of hamburger bread was Walter Anderson, the frying cook in 1916, who raised the hamburger game with his ingenious creation of the White Castle fast-food chain.
From there, we all know the important American icon turned into hamburgers. So back to answer the question we asked at the beginning, we can say the hamburger pays tribute to the humble German steak.