Hamburgers are widely loved, but the history of the popular sandwich is less widely known. New York Magazine’s illustrated history of the hamburger will fill you up with plenty of interesting facts.
The origins of the hamburger are not really known. Around the 13th century, Mongols used to shove bits of raw mutton under their saddle while they rode to tenderize the meat. Later, the Russians adopted a dish of minced beef with spices, and that dish made its way over to Germany. By the 19th century a common dish in Hamburg, Germany was called the Hamburg Steak, consisting of chopped beef served with potatoes and gravy. As many immigrants stayed in Hamburg before making their way to America, the dish “immigrated” to the USA with them. What we know as a hamburger, a patty between two pieces of bread, came about 20 to 30 years later and was probably invented by an enterprising fairground food vendor. In 1920 White Castle standardized the hamburger bun, changing the world forever by establishing the hamburger as what we know it as today.