Burger Fact #3


“Hamburg Steak” – the beginnings of the Hamburger we know today.

From Wikipedia:

“In the late eighteenth century, the largest ports in Europe were in Germany. Sailors who had visited the ports of Hamburg, Germany and New York, brought this food and term “Hamburg Steak” into popular usage. To attract German sailors, eating stands along the New York city harbor offered “steak cooked in the Hamburg style.” In 1802, the Oxford English Dictionary defined Hamburg steak as salt beef. It had little resemblance to the hamburger we know today. It was a hard slab of salted minced beef, often slightly smoked, mixed with onions and breadcrumbs. The emphasis was more on durability than taste.

Immigrants to the United States from German-speaking countries brought with them some of their favorite foods. One of them was Hamburg Steak. The Germans simply flavored shredded low-grade beef with regional spices, and both cooked and raw it became a standard meal among the poorer classes. In the seaport town of Hamburg, it acquired the name Hamburg steak. Today, this hamburger patty is no longer called Hamburg Steak in Germany but rather “Frikadelle,” “Frikandelle” or “Bulette,” originally Italian and French words.”

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