I like all kinds of foods. There are times, though, when I want to know more about where that food came from and/or how it started. One that many people, myself included, wonder about is the hamburger. However, from what I’ve seen, the history of the hamburger is not so straightforward.
Like certain other popular foods, the hamburger’s history is not totally clear. It is believed to have been created sometime between the 19th and 20th century, though. However, it is believed to have appeared in other forms in other countries prior to the one that people know and associate with the United States today.
As early as the 4th century, a dish was made by the Romans that was known as isicia omentata, which was a mixed herb beef patty cooked with white wine. It is believed that this may have been the earliest example of the hamburger.
Another version later on was discovered by Kublai Khan while invading Russia, and that was steak tartar, which was made of minced horsemeat. As far as the addition of bread or a bun, this is highly debatable because of the ongoing debate about who invented the first sandwiches.
Despite all the unknowns, it is still fascinating, in my opinion. It’s unlikely that we will ever known who invented the first burger. Regardless, burgers are a great food that everyone can customize and enjoy.
I have found that there are a lot of food holidays nowadays where certain foods are being celebrated on the day that they were invented on years prior. One that you usually won’t see is the hamburger. While people do celebrate the food itself and may throw a day dedicated to it, there is no way to pick a specific date based on when it was created since that is largely unknown. In fact, the history of the hamburger is largely unknown in general.
Some histories are straightforward and many are not. Between the fact that histories are re-written and the lack of early documentation, it is hard to pinpoint the origin of the burger. There is some evidence that the earliest version was made by the Romans. They apparently created baked beef patties with all kinds of herbs and white wine known as isicia omentata.
Steak tartare from Russia was another early predecessor. The origin of the bun is highly debated because the origin of bread, let alone the invention of the sandwich, is still debated today by various countries claiming they invented it. The modern version of the burger is believed to have been first recorded between the 19th and 20th centuries.
There are too many unknowns, in my opinion. I enjoy a burger like the next person, but I feel that there is still so much to find and learn about its origins. I feel that such an iconic food should be better understood and enjoyed by all.