Helps Fast Food Promote American Culture

Fast food: burgers without a home

"Of course, the hamburger comes from Hamburg," you will say. But it's not that clear at all. Four different places on the German and North American continents are fighting over the birthplace of the popular fast food dish. Which of their stories are you most likely to believe?

A light bread roll, a juicy meatball, a crunchy leaf of lettuce and a large portion of ketchup - the classic hamburger is ready! Some estimates suggest that the average American eats 150 pieces a year, around three a week. Extrapolated to all residents of the USA, that makes about 45 billion burgers per year! However, the experts argue about what the original hamburger really looked like, when it appeared and whether it comes from Germany or from America. Four places call themselves the "home of the hamburger".

1st story: Just no ketchup!

The "Louis' Lunch" takeaway in New Haven on the east coast of the United States is well known across America. Your German-born owner Louis Lassen is said to have served the very first hamburger to a guest there in 1900. The traveler was in a great hurry and had no time to sit down to eat at Louis Imbiss. So the landlord quickly prepared a meatball from unsold steaks, wedged it with cheese, onions and tomatoes between two slices of toast and gave it to his guest on the way. He was thrilled!

Jeff Lassen, Louis' great-grandchild and today's owner of the snack bar, stands firm against anyone who wants to tell him a different story about the invention of the hamburger. For him, the burger is without a doubt part of his family history. For this reason, the hamburgers are still served in Louis' lunch today, as they were in 1900. With toast, meatball, onions, cheese and tomatoes. Anyone who asks about ketchup there, on the other hand, is viewed as a punishable offense, because Louis didn't have it 100 years ago either.

2nd story: Folding burgers on the high seas

In the 18th century there were many disappointed people in Europe who could not find work, often starved and dreamed of a better life in the new world. New World - that's what people called the American continent at the time, in contrast to the old, familiar world with Europe, Asia and Africa. Over the decades, millions of Europeans moved to America to start a new life. Every emigrant who left Northern Europe had to pass through the port of Hamburg. It was one of the largest ports in Europe as early as the 18th century. Ships from all over the world came and went there every day to transport goods and people far away.

The food on the often hopelessly overcrowded ships was often sparse and barely enough for all passengers. Mostly there was what had been loaded in the last port, and so the America travelers enjoyed the Hamburg home cooking, which also includes the dish "Rundstück warm", which you can still find in Hamburg's restaurants today. To do this, a piece of roast pork is placed on two halves of a roll and sauce is poured over it. Pretty impractical on a swaying ship fighting its way through the raging waves of the North Atlantic! That is why the "round piece warm" was simply folded up on the crossings so that it could be eaten out of hand. So it's very clear: The hamburger is an idea of ​​a couple of real Hamburg boys on the high seas!

3rd story: A present from New York

The Americans really didn’t go to great lengths to find names for their towns! The huge city of New York on the American east coast is located in the state of New York of the same name. In this state, in turn, is the place Hamburg, which was named after the northern German city of Hamburg. It was founded in 1874 by German emigrants and is not an exception on the American map. In the USA alone there are 18 smaller and larger cities with the name Hamburg. They were all probably named after the north German city at some point.

However, the small town in the state of New York advertises with the slogan: "New York's gift to the kitchens of the world - the hamburger!" In 1885 the brothers Frank and Charles Menches from Ohio visited a fair in Hamburg, America, with their mobile snack bar. One of their specialties was the "Hot Pork" - hot roast pork. One day, it is said, they ran out of pork and without further ado they replaced the roast with beef. They gave their new creation the name of the place where the market took place: Hamburg.

4th story: Old Dave's Hamburg booth

You can now find restaurants from the McDonalds fast food chain almost everywhere in the world. The company even has its own research and training center in the United States, where employees are trained for their burger, fries and soft ice cream jobs. The center is called "Hamburger University" and for once has nothing to do with the German city. Of course, in the 1960s, the first members of the Burger University wanted to find out exactly where the birthplace of the court that gave their school its name was. In their search they came across a report in the American newspaper "New York Tribune", which reported on the 1904 World's Fair in the USA. At this international exhibition, all countries present their culture and their latest inventions. The journalists particularly praised a new dish called hamburger that was offered there, namely minced steak between two slices of bread with mustard, cucumber and onions.

Fletcher Davis, the maker of these delicious burgers, was actually a potter and moved to the small town of Athens, Texas in the 1880s to work at the Miller Pottery. The residents of the place liked his self-invented hamburgers so much that they collected money for Flechter in order to be able to send him to the world exhibition. There Davis sold his burgers from a cart that belonged to Miller's old father Dave and therefore had the label "Old Dave's Hamburger Stand" on it. So it was that the 25-year-old braider "Old Dave" Davis from Texas went down in history as the inventor of the hamburger.

Which one of the stories convinced you? Is there a bit of truth in each of them? No matter which version you choose, why not try to imitate the different original hamburgers! It is not without reason that the hamburger is part of the so-called fast food - it is quick to prepare and, with fresh ingredients, is also healthy and particularly tasty!