Where do hamburgers come from?

I just had a conversation with a couple of food workers who were wondering why hamburgers are not called beefburgers. After all, they’re not made from ham.

I gave them a quck geography lesson.

But then it got me wondering: If they were invented in America (which I believe they were), why are they named after a town in Germany?

Same question about frankfurters.

Minced, spiced beef cooked as a patty was called “Hamburg steak” or “Steak in the style of Hamburg.” Easy step to calling the same meat on a bun a “hamburger.” As for “frankfurter,” per Wiki: The word frankfurter comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages served in a bun similar to hot dogs originated.[1] These sausages, Frankfurter Würstchen, were known since the 13th century and given to the people on the event of imperial coronations, starting with the coronation of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor as King.

Don’t know if we are being whooshed, but I will bite :D.

Contrary to popular belief, burgers and franks were NOT invented in America. The America you know and love (or hate) did not exist as it did back then.

A wiki check here will answer your question.

You might as well posit the same about French Fries or Swiss Steak.

Previous thread on the topic.

What is referred to generically as a hamburger–a sandwich of cooked ground beef in a bun–does seem to be an American invention. Now, whether you want to call it European because the original patty might have been derived from Hamburg steak or frikadelle or whatever, that’s your prerogative. I consider the sandwich form an American invention, and it is very much culturally identified around the world as American.

**Where do hamburgers come from? **

Well, when a Mommy hamburger and a Daddy hamburger love each other very much…

I am wondering now who thought up the idea? Humans saw animals eating other animals, they may have even tried some themself. It probably didn’t taste good raw. Who thought to cook it and make it palatable?

That’s what I thought. And I thought that they invented just after the turn of the century. But if their precursor was meat “in the style of Hamburg” then the name makes sense.

I had no idea that Germans were eating sausages on bread that early. I thought that that idea came from a world’s fair at around the same time.

According to Gary Larson, it was Thac.

Actually, they were around on menus before that–I think I’ve seen sites as early as 1880s in Tulsa, OK. samclem might be better able to say, as he mentioned in the linked-to thread that the 1904 Worlds Fair was certainly not the first time a Hamburger sandwich was served in the States.

I think the Earl of Sandwich would take umbrage.

He didn’t make a hamburger sandwich, though. The American “hamburger” is an amalgamation of the German Hamburg steak (and you can go farther back than that, if you want, to the Tartars) and the Earl of Sandwich’s sandwich. Is that better?

But who was the first place to call it and sell a “cheeseburger”.


Hillel the Elder would think the Earl an arriviste.

Here is where I register my dissatisfaction with the interchangeability of the words “frankfurter” and “wiener”.

My elderly aunt in Massachusetts referred to raw, minced or shredded beef (what I know as hamburger) as “hamburg.” Once it’s cooked and put on a bun she called it a “hamburger.”

Cheeseburg, Germany? It’s just about 40km south of Veggieburg.

Eh. They’re only 370 miles apart.

Hamburgers are named that because the originally consisted of people from Hamburg, Germany all ground up and fed to the masses. :slight_smile:

Weißes Schloss Schweberen ist der Volk!