Oct 24, 2018

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Private party locations – More Info

In The Beginning…

We take a look at the enigmatic origins of the world’s most popular meal…the Hamburger!

If you look back a few thousands of years, you’ll find that even the ancient Egyptians ate ground meat patties, and down through the ages ground meat has been shaped into patties and eaten all over the world under many different names. But exactly when and where the modern hamburger was born is much harder to pin down. Several folks over in the US – from New Haven, Connecticut, to Tulsa, Oklahoma – confidently claim their ancestors invented it.

As controversial as it is, the history of the hamburger is truly a story that has been run through the meat grinder. Legends say it began with the Mongols, who stashed scraps of beef, lamb or mutton under their saddles as they spanned the globe in their campaign to conquer the known world, much as McDonald’s has done in the last half century. Our website provides info on  private party locations

The softened meat was formed into flat patties, and after enough time spent sandwiched between the asses of man and beast, the meat became tender enough to eat raw – certainly a boon to swift-moving riders not keen to dismount.

When Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan, and his hordes invaded Moscow, they naturally brought their unique dietary ground meat with them. The Russians adopted it into their own cuisine with the name “Steak Tartare,” (Tartars being their name for the Mongols). Over many years, Russian chefs adapted and developed this dish and refined it by adding chopped onions and raw eggs.

Later, as global trade picked up, seafarers brought this idea back to the port city of Hamburg, Germany, where the Deutschvolk decided to mold it with breadcrumbs into a steak shape and cook it, making something that, outside of Hamburg, was referred to as “Hamburg steak,” a dish now most popular today, in of all places, Japan, where almost every menu lists it under Western fare as “steak cooked in the Hamburg style” or “hanbagu.”

But enough fishing in European and Asian waters; let’s cut bait here. Somehow ground beef gets to America. Somehow it’s put on a bun. But by whom? Surely, the historical record should become clearer once we land on American shores. Sadly, it doesn’t.

While some have written that the first American hamburger (actually Hamburger Steak) was served in 1834 at Delmonico’s Restaurant, New York City, this oft-quoted origin is not based on the original Delmonico menu but rather a facsimile, which was debunked; the published facsimile could not possibly be correct, as the printer of the purported original menu was not even in business in 1834!

If a ground beef patty served between two slices of bread is a hamburger, then credit goes to Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, Wisconsin, who, at the age of 15, sold hamburgers from his ox-drawn food stand at the Outagamie County Fair. He went to the fair and set up a stand selling meatballs.

Business wasn’t good and he quickly realised that it was because meatballs were too difficult to eat while strolling around the fair.

In a flash of innovation, he flattened the meatballs, placed them between two slices of bread and called his new creation a hamburger. He was known to many as “Hamburger Charlie.” He returned to sell hamburgers at the fair every year until his death in 1951, and he would entertain people with his guitar and mouth organ and this jingle:

“Hamburgers, hamburgers, hamburgers hot; onions in the middle, pickle on top. Makes your lips go flippity flop.”

The town of Seymour is so certain about this claim that it calls itself the “Home of the Hamburger,” holds the record for the world’s largest hamburger, and hosts a hamburger festival every year.

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