Hamburger Trivia

Food, Hometown Cooking
on April 15, 2010

Ever wonder how the hamburger evolved? Here’s a timeline based on Josh Ozersky’s book The Hamburger.

1763    First reference to a hamburg sausage is made in English book Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy.

1885    Charlie Nagreen places a meatball between two slices of bread at a county fair.

1916    Walter Anderson opens White Castle. He cooks his burgers on a 500+ degree grill, and, maybe most importantly, places onions beside the burger on the grill to marry them with the meat’s juices.

1948    The McDonald Brothers cut the entrees on their menu down to just burgers.

1951    George Stephen invents the Weber Kettle Gas Grill, key to the outdoor burger cause.

1984    “Where’s the beef?” A commercial phrase that touched everything from burgers to politics to elderly women who know how to cut through the nonsense.

2006    Palms Hotel in Las Vegas offers a $6,000 burger. The restaurant threw in an ultra-rare 24-year-old bottle of Bordeaux, but you can’t drink on an empty stomach!—Eric Butterman