Where was the hamburger invented?


Quick Answer

The location of the hamburger's invention is disputed between Hamburg, Germany and various cities in the Northeastern United States. While the ground or chopped beef patty spiced with onion, salt and pepper originated in Hamburg as a Hamburg steak, the sandwich innovation probably happened in the United States.

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Full Answer

The Hamburg steak was invented in Hamburg, Germany, which during the 1800s was famous for its high-quality beef. Cooks used round steak beaten until the fibers were broken, essentially chopped steak, then cooked the patties seasoned with fine-chopped onions, butter, salt and pepper. These steaks, however, were not intended to be eaten with the hands, but with utensils.

There are at least six different stories about how the hamburger sandwich was invented, but all involve placing a Hamburg steak or similar ground beef patty on a bun or toasted bread. Food trucks served factory workers in the Northeast and Chicago hamburger sandwiches in the late 1800s. Connecticut claims that Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, started serving hamburgers at his New Haven diner in 1900, while the White Castle restaurant chain claims that Otto Kuase invented the sandwich in Hamburg, Germany in the late 1800s.

The hamburger gained fame at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, where many small vendors sold it as a convenient, portable food. Within two decades, small diners and restaurants throughout the United States served hamburgers, often with a side of French fries.

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