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By sivabharath vPublished 7 months ago 3 min read

Etymology and terminology

The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany; however, there is no certain connection between the food and the city [4] (see History below).

Hamburger and fries in Tokyo

By back-formation, the term "burger" eventually became a self-standing word that is associated with many different types of sandwiches, similar to a (ground meat) hamburger, but made of different meats such as buffalo in the buffalo burger, venison, kangaroo, chicken, turkey, elk, lamb or fish like salmon in the salmon burger, but even with meatless sandwiches as is the case of the veggie burger.

Claims of invention

The origin of the hamburger is unclear, though "hamburger steak sandwiches" have been advertised in U.S. newspapers from New York to Hawaii since at least the 1890s.[10] The invention of hamburgers is commonly attributed to various people, including Charlie Nagreen, Frank and Charles Menches, Oscar Weber Bilby, Fletcher Davis, or Louis Lassen.[11][12] White Castle traces the origin of the hamburger to Hamburg, Germany, with its invention by Otto Kuase.[13] Some have pointed to a recipe for "Hamburgh sausages" on toasted bread, published in The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse in 1747.[10] Hamburgers gained national recognition in the U.S. at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair when the New York Tribune referred to the hamburger as "the innovation of a food vendor on the pike."[12] No conclusive argument has ended the dispute over invention. An article from ABC News sums up: "One problem is that there is little written history. Another issue is that the spread of the burger happened largely at the World's Fair, from tiny vendors that came and went in an instant. And it is entirely possible that more than one person came up with the idea at the same time in different parts of the country."Louis Lassen

Although debunked by The Washington Post,[10] a popular myth recorded by Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro stated the first hamburger served in America was by Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant after he opened Louis' Lunch in New Haven in 1895.[15] Louis' Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, is said to have sold the first hamburger and steak sandwich in the U.S. in 1900.[16][17][18] New York Magazine states that "The dish actually had no name until some rowdy sailors from Hamburg named the meat on a bun after themselves years later," also noting that this claim is subject to dispute.[19] A customer ordered a quick hot meal and Louis was out of steaks. Taking ground beef trimmings, Louis made a patty and grilled it, putting it between two slices of toast.[12] Some critics like Josh Ozersky, a food editor for New York Magazine, claim that this sandwich was not a hamburger because the bread was toasted.[20]

Charlie Nagreen

One of the earliest claims comes from Charlie Nagreen, who in 1885 sold a meatball between two slices of bread at the Seymour Fair[21] now sometimes called the Outagamie County Fair.[20] The Seymour Community Historical Society of Seymour, Wisconsin, credits Nagreen, now known as "Hamburger Charlie," with the invention. Nagreen was fifteen when he reportedly sold pork sandwiches at the 1885 Seymour Fair, made so customers could eat while walking. The Historical Society explains that Nagreen named the hamburger after the Hamburg steak with which local German immigrants were familiar.[

Frank and Charles Menches

A bacon cheeseburger, from a New York City diner

Frank and Charles Menches claim to have sold a ground beef sandwich at the Erie County Fair in 1885 in Hamburg, New York.[20] During the fair, they ran out of pork sausage for their sandwiches and substituted beef.[21] The brothers exhausted their supply of sausage, so they purchased chopped-up beef from a butcher, Andrew Klein. Historian Joseph Streamer wrote that the meat was from Stein's market, not Klein's, despite Stein's having sold the market in 1874.[21] The story notes that the name of the hamburger comes from Hamburg, New York, not Hamburg, Germany.[21] Frank Menches's obituary in The New York Times states that these events took place at the 1892 Summit County Fair in Akron, Ohio.

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