Friday, January 11, 2013

Hamburgers: Fried Cowboy Sushi


Why are they called Hamburgers?


Without a doubt the most ordered food item in the world is the hamburger.  McDonalds has even given up trying to tell you how many they've sold.  Their signs, which used to keep track "100 million sold"  "500 million sold" and so on, have for years now simply reported "billions and billions sold."  So the world is addicted to hamburgers.  But why the name Hamburger?  Wouldn't something like, "Hunk o' Beef" or "Ground Betsy" be more appropriate.

So What's the Answer:

We here at Decidedly Dumb Data (DDD) asked Larry our Magic 8 Ball if Hamburgers were named after the city of Hamburg, Germany.  He said, "Could be."  We felt like that was a little vague so, in desperation, we turned to the internet.  Turns out that "Hamburgers" are the children of a food called "Steak Tartare."

Steak Tartare
Steak Tartare
 Steak Tartare is a European dish made of raw beef with raw egg and has been around for centuries.  Think of it like sushi for cowboys.  This may be very yummy but also leads to intestinal parasites.  By the late 1800s people in New York City had begun frying this delicacy and calling it either Steak Hamburg or Salisbury Steak, probably because of the high number of German Immigrants in their neighborhoods.  It just sort of makes sense that someone would eventually put Hamburg Steak together with a Kaiser roll and...Boom!  The first modern Hamburger.

Fried Cowboy Sushi on a Bun
Fried Cowboy Sushi on Roll
Well, we here at DDD are suddenly very hungry.  Hey Larry, do you think McDonalds is serving lunch yet?  Damn!

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