The Humble Beginnings of the Hamburger

For more than 100 years, the hamburger has been a delicious staple in the American diet. You can find them at just about every restaurant and outdoor cookout. The definition of what makes a great burger varies quite a bit, but that’s what’s so great about them! What makes hamburgers so great is that everyone’s definition of what makes a perfect hamburger is so different!

Some people love the classic burger that’s stacked with lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions, while others prefer to add a slice of Swiss cheese and pile on the caramelized mushrooms. No matter what your preferred style of burger may be, did you know that the hamburger got its start underneath the saddles of Genghis Khan’s warriors?

Here are some interesting facts about how the hamburger came to be!

Mongol Horseman Popularized the Meat Patty

During the 13th century, Mongolian soldiers spent all of their time traveling the world and conquering as they went, which left very little time for eating or sleeping. In fact, some of the cavalry would go days at a time without ever leaving their saddles.

Because of this, they stuffed pieces of mutton and beef underneath their saddles so they could have food at arm’s length. The now-flat meat would become extremely tender and was eaten raw.

Hamburgers Got Their Name from Foreign Cuisine

German immigrants brought with them what they called the Hamburg Steak. The Hamburg Steak was a beefsteak that had been minced and salted, making way for the earliest example of ground beef.

The First American Hamburger Was Grilled in 1900

Although some have claimed to have invented the hamburger in the year 1885, the Library of Congress declared that it was Louis Lassen of the restaurant Lassen’s Lunch who invented the hamburger.

White Castle Was the World’s Very First Burger Chain

Many people mistakenly think it was the Golden Arches that jumpstarted the fast-food burger business, but it was actually a fry cook with an amazing idea: make bite-sized burgers and sell them at a rapid pace.

It Took 28 More Years for the Cheeseburger to Be Born

For nearly three decades, the burger patty went cheese-free. However, at a small burger restaurant in Los Angeles, cooks began loading the burgers with both chili and cheese, not only marking the birth of the chili-cheese burger, but also the birth of the cheeseburger.

The Best Way to Grill Burgers Is by Smashing Them

At Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, we prepare our three delicious Scratch Burgers by pressing the meat into a thin layer to maximize the contact points between the meat and the griddle. This gives your burger more flavor surrounded with a delicious, brown crust on the patty.

We think we make a pretty mean burger at Cheddar’s, but don’t take our word for it. Come visit us at your local Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, sink your teeth into one of our perfectly cooked burgers, and see how we stack up against the competition.

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