National hamburger day (again)
July 28th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Eagle-eyed readers may note that we already celebrated National Cheeseburger Day in September, National Hamburger Day waaaayyyy back in December and others raise high the burger flag on May 28th. However, while there's a fleck of red tape residue on the process, there's not exactly a federal regulatory agency for food holidays, so we'll go with it as an excuse to get beefy.

The hamburger was invented many greasy, cheesy, meaty decades ago, but exactly when and by whom a matter of hot dispute. Time Magazine's Josh Ozersky asserts in his 2008 book, "The Hamburger: A History" that the modern day incarnation of the formed patty between two halves of a bun is "an American invention" with endless regional variations like the Connecticut steamed cheeseburger, Mississippi slugburger or Oklahoma onion burger.

Various inventors have laid claim to that innovation, from Charles "Hamburger Charlie" Nagreen, a vendor at the Seymour Fair in Wisconsin in 1885 and Fletcher Davis in Athens, Texas in the 1880s, to Frank and Robert Menches at the Erie Agricultural Fair in Hamburg, New York in 1885 (they also take credit for the invention of the ice cream cone at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904), or possibly Louis Lassen at Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut in 1900.

While it took some American ingenuity to slap meat on some bread and render it a hand held sandwich, the concept of the patty itself was brought to the United States by German immigrants who had become fans of the Hamburg Steak. This cheap, chopped or roughly ground beef was mixed with fillers like breadcrumbs, suet and onions, bound with eggs and seasoned with nutmeg. The meat, often salted and smoked for preservation, was brought over to the United States by immigrants on the Hamburg America Line and became a popular menu item on New York City restaurants that catered to German sailors and European immigrants, hungry for the flavors of home.

Looking for a way to celebrate the holiday? You can't top these recipes.

- Joey Campanaro's step-by-step guide to making the world's best burger

- America's ultimate cheeseburger from Holeman & Finch Public House

- Dean Martin's bourbon burgers

- Home-ground and grilled

Read all burger stories on Eatocracy



soundoff (103 Responses)
  1. Two words for you

    @Ann, so that was a poor choice for me for breakfast then? I mean I only do it like 4-5 times a week

    July 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  2. Ann

    It's not eating hamburgers that makes Americans fat – it's eating hamburgers the size of Volkswagons.

    A nice 4 oz burger of 90% lean beef (no leaner or it'll be too dry), done on a grill or broiler rack, with reasonable amounts of toppings (mainly veggie) – that can be healthy enough. Grill some veggies for the side.

    Just don't have a monster burger with 4 strips of bacon, 4 oz of cheddar cheese, and onions sauteed in butter, with half a pound of greasy fries on the side.

    July 29, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  3. LP

    Pork burger with apricot-chipotle mayo and lettuce – yum!

    July 28, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  4. ModSquad

    If you're slower than a bullet and taste good, you're dinner.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • WonderWoman@Mod Squad

      Then you won't be eating Superman?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  5. les

    grilled turkey burger w/ pesto, fresh mozz and roasted red pepper. yum

    July 28, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Reply
  6. Roelof

    I didn't ate one this year, but I dreamed about it last night. Hamburger with salami and cheese.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  7. we B smokin'

    I'll stop eating dead cow when they pry this spatula from my cold dead hands
    white castles good...Fuddruckers better and Five Guys the best by far (except for my own creations)

    July 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  8. Two words for you

    @Ms. Grammar.... you didn't answer my question....

    July 28, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  9. Superman

    Now THAT is a hamburger..

    So tired of all the cheap imitations, with processed, poor quality, FACTORY MADE "beef"...

    This is a good ad to support and encourage people to make efforts to reduce the quantity and increase the QUALITY..

    ..and supporting/promoting the farmer's markets, and the smaller cafes that makes it an AMerican treasure..

    I rarely eat red meat, rarely if ever while in the States...

    ...but that photo REALLY makes me want a hamburger!

    July 28, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  10. Skottikins

    Nothing like an onion burger! An oklahoma CLASSIC!

    July 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  11. yogurtfan

    I can't eat them. I'm actually allergic to beef, sea food, pork, most veggies, quite a bit of fruit, and garlic. :-/ What kills me is that I can't eat a pizza because I'm pretty much allergic to everyone on it (even how cheese is made upsets my stomach) yet I crave it.

    July 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Reply
    • RichardHead

      So you have "cultured" farts?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
      • Ms. Grammar

        like

        July 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • Two words for you

      wow, dude, that sucks. I feel really bad for you :(

      July 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  12. Ms. Grammar

    We have Cheeburga-Cheeburga in our area. Really great burgers – fresh meat, made to order, 75 toppings, phenomenal! But the best thing is their onion rings: really thin cut, tempura batter, deep fried, with a horseradish, mayo, mustard (brown, I think) dipping sauce. Oh, and they also have old-fashioned hand made milkshakes, malts, and ice cream sodas. I have to go now...I hear my onion rings, burger w/avocado, sauteed onions, pepperjack cheese on brioche bun (grilled of course), and my caramel, praline malted calling my name. Later...

    July 28, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Reply
    • Two words for you

      We have "Wild Willy's" here which is about the same concept- so good you don't mind waiting for cooked to order food

      July 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
      • Marc Anthony

        I have a wild willy, too.

        July 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  13. Erica

    I had two White Castle sliders and eggplant parmesan for breakfast.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • Sir Biddle@Erica

      Stay close to a bathrooom – the whistles are coming!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply
  14. Multi-Tasking @ Work

    just fired up the grill...drool

    July 28, 2011 at 11:48 am | Reply
  15. Thoth-Amon

    One day I'll have to give up my bacon cheeseburger and Guinness diet. But hey, I have to help boost the economy somehow...

    July 28, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • Bailes

      @Thoth-Amon, Please don't! I need to live vicariously through someone!

      July 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Reply
    • Thoth-Amon

      @Bailes- I hear ya. I'm known as heavy tipper- 20% on principle, unless the waitstaff makes some blitheringly idiotic faux pas. Happy Thursday.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Reply
      • Two words for you

        Happt T day to you as well. I agree, I was a waitress all theough HS and college and as a result I tend to tip VERY well, its like been there, done that and I know how hard a good server works.

        July 28, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  16. The Witty One

    I'm thinking five guys for lunch! mmmm........

    July 28, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Two words for you

      @witty One, their fries too. Enjoy some for me please

      July 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
      • The Witty One@2 words

        Done and done!

        July 28, 2011 at 11:23 am | Reply
      • Ms. Grammar

        With vinegar...YUM!

        July 28, 2011 at 11:59 am | Reply
      • Two words for you

        @Ms. Grammar....(I am eyeing you suspiciously).... white or red vinager? Answer this correctly or I will advise all establishments in the continetal US to ban you from eating fries.....

        July 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • alf

        Nobody puts white or red vinegar on their fries, they use malt vinegar. Red/white vinegar arent condiments, only malt and balsamic are.

        July 28, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Reply
      • Two words for you

        So you happen to have taken a poll of EVERY single person in the world? hmmm doubtful. I was raised on the boardwalk and we ate heinz white vinager on our pier fries. and beleive it or not? my grampa from RI used red wine vinager, just because you do not do it, does not mean that no one else is allowed to!

        July 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      All at once, or individually? *gets in line*

      July 28, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Thoth-Amon

      There are a few of those in my area, but I prefer a local hang-out where the Guinness flows freely (but not for free).

      "This must be Thursday. I never could get the hang of Thursdays." ~Arthur Dent

      July 28, 2011 at 11:47 am | Reply
      • The Witty One@Thoth-Amon

        Like Jimmies old town tavern in herndon? They have great food as well. mmmm.....screw five guys, I'm getting a tavern burger for lunch :)

        July 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • The Smart Aleck@TWO

        You screwed 5 guys for lunch.

        Wow, whatta man! Got v!de0?

        July 28, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Reply
      • The Witty One@TSA

        I actually ended up going with 5 guys. The only problem is that I only have one hole to stuff all that goodness into. I wish I could have taken more but I was stuffed full! The buns weren't that big though, so all the gooey goodness of 5 guys dripped all over the place...

        July 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Reply
      • The Smart Aleck@TWO

        *fanning self with hands*
        Nice job – on so many levels. ;)

        July 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Reply
    • Five guyz

      I love stuffing Five Guys meat in my mouth....

      July 28, 2011 at 11:52 am | Reply
    • The Smart Aleck@The Witty One

      Are you cure you can handle 5 all at once?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
      • The Witty One@TSA

        I actually laughed out loud on that one. Well played madam.

        July 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  17. Kerry Berger

    A very cultural inspired tradition and comfort food for Americans.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
  18. Evil Grin

    I just had hamburgers on circle food day. I am certain I will eat another again soon.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
  19. Hodor

    Hodor!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • The Witty One

      No thank you.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
  20. Angel Commins

    Seriously??? You Americans actually celebrate the eating of dead animal flesh between processed, refined carb. nutritionally lacking white bread?

    July 28, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply
    • Max in NY

      Angel-we're the most obese planet on Earth...of course we do lol

      July 28, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
      • The skinny planet on earth

        Haha, obese planet on earth. Gotcha beat.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • Max in NY

        damn it...you did get me lol!

        July 28, 2011 at 11:26 am | Reply
      • Thoth-Amon

        "...obese planet on earth...: Now THAT made my day for me!!!

        July 28, 2011 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • colonelingus

      Damn straight sister! Right next to the deep fried taters!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • Dude

      No, I have my dead animal flesh between two slices of fresh, no preservative, whole wheat sour dough bread. With lots of mayo ...

      July 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
      • PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals

        Umm.....I don't need to stinkin' bread to eat my dead animal meat. Besides, the animal would never have been bred if it weren't for the food industry.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
    • Two words for you

      NICE Bloody still mooing steak, I gotta stop thinking about it, cuz I am drooling all over my keyboard....YUM

      July 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
      • Big George in Big D

        Wipe his A$$, clean his hooves and run 'em through! That's how a true Texas eats a steak!

        July 28, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
      • Nobody N. Particular

        How about scare it with a Bic lighter? Nice and bloody, the way steaks are meant to be eaten.

        July 28, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • Bob

      Because no other countries eat meat?! I know we're obese, but don't pretend the rest of the world is vegan.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • JustThinkinOutloud

      And what do you celebrate? Crappy teas? That sounds awwwwwwwwwwwesome.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
    • Lanfear

      As opposed to... eating a live animal?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  21. Hanibal

    mmmmmmm, my stomach is grumbling. Maybe I should find something in the pantry like some nice fava beans to go with this meat.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:02 am | Reply
    • JustThinkinOutloud

      Don't forget the nice ciante....and to tell the senator you love her suit.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
  22. noelle

    WHAT EVER mAX

    July 28, 2011 at 11:00 am | Reply
  23. Vegan

    Just go vegan. Humans are evolving to eat less of that junk anyway. The future is vegan.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
    • jj

      I will never give up my burgers, steaks, or chicken, especially if they are grilled!

      July 28, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Farty McFartersonn

      Do you believe that you veggie-eatin', kool-aid drinkin' tree-huggers create less methane than meat-eaters?

      Uh-huh.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
      • Fartin Martin

        You wouldn't want to be stuck in an elevator with a vegetarian, trust me.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Max in NY

      Trying to get there, haven't eaten a burger in 6months since I had a nice little sit down with a vegan relative of mine. Definitely healthier and the way to go!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
    • Two words for you

      @Vegan, that all depends, do Vegans taste as good as hamburgers, can I order my Vegan Meduim well too?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
    • Lanfear

      The future is Vegan? Any facts to back up that statement? Didn't think so.

      Whatever helps you sleep at night.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Big George in Big D

      Vegans make me puke!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
      • Farty McFartersonn

        That's 'cuz you're eatin' 'em too fast.

        July 28, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • Farticus

      You know people might take you Vegans a little more seriously if you weren't so obnoxious. You're as bad as evangelical religiousites.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:48 am | Reply
      • Two words for you

        @Farticus
        Like

        July 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  24. jj

    I think I need a double bacon cheeseburger now!

    July 28, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
  25. Jill

    You have not lived until you have had a steamed cheeseburger at Ted's or K lamays in Meriden, Ct.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Farty McFartersonn

      Steamed? What if I just pi$$ if off a little bit?

      July 28, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
    • Roy

      Is that similar to a Cleveland Steamer?

      July 28, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
      • Steamy

        Naw, a Cleveland Steamer is what you do after you eat one.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • Two words for you

      @ Jill, is that the place that uses those little metal trays and steams the cheese too? I havent been, want to, saw a little ditty on the travel channel

      July 28, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Plain

      Naww. The best burger is the kind most of the folks i know here in Texas eat; lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, cheese (jalapenos are good too) and with yellow mustard. and buns that have been buttered and thrown on the grill :))) yum.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:37 am | Reply
      • Big George in Big D

        You got that right!

        July 28, 2011 at 11:43 am | Reply
    • Plaintexan

      Naww. The best burger is the kind most of the folks i know here in Texas eat; lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, cheese (jalapenos are good too) and with yellow mustard. and buns that have been buttered and thrown on the grill :))) yummy

      July 28, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
  26. Max in NY

    Ok, people if you can cut down the amount of beef products you eat, it would really help out with global warming (due to the intense amount of energy to transport/raise cattle and the amount of methane they produce) and its good for your health!

    July 28, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • Farty McFartersonn

      Because if I eat less beef, I'll fart less?

      Methane! The fuel of the future!

      July 28, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
      • Max in NY

        ill educate you if its the last thing I do, you little fatty!

        July 28, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
    • Wimpy

      You don't like the methane I produce?

      July 28, 2011 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • colonelingus

      Max, if God didn't mean for us to eat meat, then why o why did he make animals out of meat and make them so damn delicious? I'm so confused!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:13 am | Reply
      • Eggplant

        I'm delicious too!

        July 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • Okra@Eggplant

        no you're not

        July 28, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Reply
      • Eggplant@Okra

        Tastier than you!

        July 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Reply
    • Lanfear

      Maybe we should also cut back on the amount of vegetables and fruits and grains as well... since those are all transported too.

      Logic fail!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:19 am | Reply
      • Max in NY

        Thats why you should eat local buddy! Extreme attempt at a logic fail-fail for you

        July 28, 2011 at 11:25 am | Reply
      • Ppppppffffffffffffffftttttttttt

        I'm directing my methane emmission at you as we speak, Max.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
      • Lanfear

        Obviously eating locally is the best way to go. But you didn't say as your original argument, did you? You are trying to convince people not to eat meat because of transportation etc... my point is that the same can be said about all food types – therefore you are a hypocrite. It's a bogus anti-meat argument you have there.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
    • Bob

      But if I stop eating hamburgers... there will be more cows to produce methane! :)

      July 28, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • Big George in Big D

      Bullcrap!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:42 am | Reply
    • Anonymous

      Pipe down hippie

      July 28, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
    • alf

      it wont help my wallet, burgers are cheap, fish is extremely expensive, salads are almost as expensive as fish, and chicken is only cheap if you get the nugget form.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  27. Wimpy

    Any day is a good day for a hamburger.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
    • steeve-o

      Yes, however the " I'll gladly pay you tomorrow for a hamburger today", is partly what got us in this fiscal mess.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:58 am | Reply
      • Bates

        Don't blame Wimpy for our financial problems! He is innocent in all of this, INNOCENT I TELL YOU!

        July 28, 2011 at 11:08 am | Reply
      • Dude

        The line is, "I will gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today." But, please don't make this a political discussion; it's about food.

        July 28, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
      • Wimpy

        Ill gladly pay you tuesday for a hamburger today,

        Or I can just suck your c*ck

        July 28, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Reply

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