Having you ever been grilling burgers on a sunny Saturday afternoon and wondered who thought of this delicious sandwich, and who thought of adding all the amazing condiments to make it so tasty? You’re not the only one!
The Start of the Journey
The truth of the matter is that ground meat has been eaten all over the world for thousands of years in one form or another. Having ground beef for a meal or a sandwich can be tracked back to the Egyptians who ate ground meat. Later, in 1209, history reports that Genghis Khan led a fast-moving army conquering three fourths of the known world at that time.
Khan designed a special way for his men to carry meat while they were moving across the land. His army took ground beef, formed into large patties and the rider carried it under the saddle, up against the horse where it was smashed even more. The army did not take many breaks, so they ate meat had not been cooked. Genghis Khan led the troops into Russia and conquered the people, but the Russians adapted his style calling it steak tartar.
The ground beef began to be cooked in the 15th century, but to track the real foundations of the American Hamburger, one would need to start in America around the 1800s.
Franks Original Hamburger on Two Slices of Bread
There are many varieties of the original hamburger, and many take credit for it. The originators of the first hamburgers cannot determine whether the first hamburger was between two slices of bread and one on a bun. The sandwich that appears to truly be the founding sandwich was put between two slices of bread, but “hamburger” was the official name given to it. Here’s the story.
The Frank and Charles Mendes Family from Akron, Ohio had a 100 man traveling concession business which ran the circuit. In 1885, they were in Hamburg, New York, and rumor has it that they were slaughtering pork, to make sausage, but it was very hot that weekend, so they decided to use beef, which was more durable.
The brothers ground the beef and mixed in coffee, brown sugar and other spices for flavor. They made patties, grilled them and served them between two slices of bread. Frank Mendes didn’t know what to call the sandwich when a customer asked what it was, but it is reported that he looked up at the city banner, Hamburg, and declared this sandwich to be a Hamburger.
First Hamburger on a Bun
The first hamburger on a bun was made in Tulsa, in 1884, which was around the same time that the Mendes Family named the hamburger n Akron. Oklahoma is known as a state where bison and cattle are raised, and Grandpa Oscar Weber Bilby owned a huge cattle farm were he raised beef. One day he built an incredible grill, ground some fresh beef, formed it into patties and put them on the grill. Then, he took Grandma’s yeast rolls, spread butter on them and used them as the first hamburger buns!
So, who truly made the first hamburger?
Transition to a 21st Century All-American Burger
Most hamburger connoisseurs, those who aren’t flipping burgers in a fast food chain, have only one requirement for a burger that it must be made out of high-quality meat. In early days, the condiments were simple, usually catsup, relish and an onion slice. Today, whatever is the diner’s delight is fine, such as cheddar cheese, tomato, onion, lettuce, catsup, mustard, mayo, pickles, fried eggs or whatever you like, but remember, the patty is the star.
Hamburgers have come along way since the Egyptians and Genghis Khan ground meat for dinner, and Americans are happy that it has. Hamburgers are the most popular food in America for people of all ages or backgrounds, so head out to your favorite burger joint or restaurant or stay home and cook them right on the grill. Any way you have one, the sandwich is custom made for you!