"Ask us ANYTHING!!"

Answered


Naming of the hamburger

From:  "Liana"

Why are hamburgers called hamburgers if they are just burgers and not ham?

Todd responded with this: 

In some European countries if you order a hamburger you will get a HAMburger. You have to order a beefburger to get an American burger. There is probably a reason for Americans calling a beefburger a hamburger. There are lots of dumb words we have such as parkway and driveway.

Mark Wienants simply answered with this: 

Actually, hamburger is a shortening of "hamburg steak," which are named after Hamburg, Germany, where they originated.

Charity helped out with this: 

It's named after Hamburg, Germany. They got it from the Russians, modified it to their regional tastes, and named it the hamburg steak. When they introduced it to the U.S., we shortened it to "hamburger".

forrest agreed with this: 

I have always believed that the hamburger originallyy came from Hamburg, Gremany and thus it's eponym. BTW, colloquial language in New England, in the USA, it is often referred to as a "Hamburger Sandwich" and the ground meat is called "hamburg" and the buns "hamburg rolls, as well as hot dog buns are called "frankfurt rolls"

Edwin reported with this: 

Burgers is short for Hamburgers - it's not like they're truly called just plain "burgers". Hamburgers are named after Hamburg, Germany, maybe they were invented there or something - I don't really know; I just looked up the etymology.----- (by the way, to all people with questions about the root of a word - just look up the word in the dictionary - a lot of dictionaries have an etymology for each word, which describes where the word comes from)

Michael mumbled this: 

They aren't named after "ham," they are named after the city of Hamburg, Germany, where they were invented.

Col very very simply put it this way: 

They are called hamburgers because they originated in Hamburg, Germany.

Zinger64 gave us their belief: 

The HAMburger really had nothing to do with HAM, but a town in Germany called HAMBURG.....it's where hamburger steak was invented, much the same way the word "SANDWICH" came from the town of SANDWICH in England...!!

gary shared with us this: 

the question of why they are called hamburgers if there is no ham in them. the name has nothing to do with the content...but the origin. hamburgers originated in hamburg germany. just as buffalo wings are from buffalo n.y. not made WITH buffalo.

David K gave us his opinion: 

The origin of the Hamburger is the ground beef patties that were eaten by the poorer class in Hamburg Germany around the 14th century. At the time, they wre known as "Hamburg Steaks". Then in the US, these "Hamburg Steaks" were put between 2 slices of bread, and the name was shortened to "Hamburger".

Daniel wrote us this book: 

During a trip to Asia in the early 1800s, a German merchant - it is said - noticed that the nomadic Tartars softened their meat by keeping it under their saddles. The motion of the horse pounded the meat to bits. The Tartars would then scrape it together and season it for eating. The idea of pounded beef found its way back to the merchant's home town of Hamburg where cooks broiled the meat and referred to it as it as Hamburg meat.
German immigrants introduced the recipe to the US. The term "hamburger" is believed to have appeared in 1834 on the menu from Delmonico's restaurant in New York but there is no surviving recipe for the meal. The first mention in print of "Hamburg steak" was made in 1884 in the Boston Evening Journal.
The honour of producing the first proper hamburger goes to Charlie Nagreen of Seymour, WI. In 1885 Nagreen introduced the American hamburger at the Outgamie County Fair in Seymour. (Seymour is recognised as the hamburger capital of the world.)
However, there is another claim to that throne. There is an account of Frank and Charles Menches who, also in 1885, went to the Hamburg, New York county fair to prepare their famous pork sausage sandwiches. But since the local meat market was out of pork sausage, they used ground beef instead. Alas, another hamburger.
The first account of serving ground meat patties on buns - taking on the look of the hamburger as we know it today - took place in 1904 at the St. Louis World Fair. But it was many years later, in 1921, that an enterprising cook from Wichita, Kansas, Walt Anderson, introduced the concept of the hamburger restaurant. He convinced financier Billy Ingram to invest $700 to create The White Castle hamburger chain. It was an instant success. The rest of the history, we might say, belongs to McDonald's.
And, no, a hamburger does not have any ham in it. Well, it's not supposed to. Hamburger meat usually is made of 70-80% beef, and fat and spices.

Julia concluded with this: 

In answer to the question about where the name for hamburgers came from, I actually do have the answer. Hamburgers origonated ( i know i spelled that one wrong) in Hamburg, Germany, thus, they are now called hamburgers.

Click here to send this page to a friend! Back to main page

2001 - 2003 Stupid Questions Answered