Homemade Stilton burger
500g minced beef
1 onion chopped
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp mustard
50g Crumbled Stilton Cheese
4 Burger Buns
Salt and pepper
Other option toppings include:
bacon, avocado or guacamole, sliced sautéed mushrooms, cheese sauce and/or chili (usually without beans), fried egg, scrambled egg, feta cheese, blue cheese, salsa, pineapple, jalapenos and other kinds of chile peppers, anchovies, slices of ham or bologna, pastrami or teriyaki-seasoned beef, tartar sauce, french fries, onion rings or potato chips.
Mix the minced beef with the chopped onions, mixed herbs and mustard. Season well with salt and pepper, and bring together with your hands to form a firm mixture.
Divide the mixture into eight equal portions. Shape four portions into rounds and flatten each one slightly. Place a little of the crumbled cheese in the centre of each round.
Shape and flatten the remaining four portions and place on top. Use your hands to mould the rounds together, encasing the crumbled cheese, and shaping them into four burgers.
Cook on a medium barbecue for about 10 minutes or until cooked through, turning once. Serve with a burger bun, salad and mustard pickle (optional)
The term “burger”, can also be applied to the meat patty on its own, especially in the UK where the term “patty” is rarely used. The term may be prefixed with the type of meat as in “beef burger”.
The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city, from where many people emigrated to the United States. In High German, Burg means fortified settlement or fortified refuge; and is a widespread component of place names. Hamburger can be a descriptive noun in German, referring to someone from Hamburg (compare London -> Londoner) or an adjective describing something from Hamburg. Similarly, frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods, are also used in Germany and Austria as descriptive nouns for people and as adjectives for things from the cities of Frankfurt and Wien (Vienna), respectively. The term “burger” is associated with many different types of sandwiches similar to a (ground beef) hamburger, using different meats, such as a buffalo burger, venison, kangaroo, turkey, elk, salmon burger or veggie burger.
Beginning in the 15th century, minced beef was a valued delicacy throughout Europe. Hashed beef was made into sausage in several different regions of Europe.
Ships from the port of Hamburg, Germany began calling on Russian ports. During this period the Russian steak tartare was brought back and called “tartare steak”, one claimed origin being mechanically tenderized meat used horsemen invading Moscow in 1238 from Mongolian/Tartar regions.
18th and 19th centuries
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.
In the late 18th 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”.
Invention of meat choppers
Referring to ground beef as hamburger dates to the invention of the mechanical meat choppers during the 19th century. The meat grinder was purportedly invented by Dr. Karl Drais in the 19th century. Patents were filed for some designs that were interpreted as meat choppers.
- E. Wade received Patent #x5348 on January 26, 1829 for what may be the first patented “Meat Cutter.” The patent shows choppers moving up and down onto a rotating block.
- G. A. Coffman received Patent #3935 on February 28, 1845 for an “Improvement in Machines for Cutting Sausage-Meat” using a spiral feeder and rotating knives something like a modern food grinder.
The first printed American menu which listed hamburger was claimed to be an 1826 menu from Delmonico’s in New York.However,the printer of the original menu was not in business in 1834.
Between 1871-1884, “Hamburg Beefsteak” was on the “Breakfast and Supper Menu” of the Clipper Restaurant at 311/313 Pacific Street in San Fernando. It cost 10 cents—the same price as mutton chops, pig’s feet in batter, and stewed veal. It was not, however, on the dinner menu, only “Pig’s Head” “Calf Tongue” and “Stewed Kidneys” were listed.
Hamburger Steak, Plain and Hamburger Steak with Onions, was served at the Tyrolean Alps Restaurant at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.
By the mid-18th century, German immigrants also began arriving in England. One recipe, titled “Hamburgh Sausage,” appeared in Hannah Glasse’s 1758 English cookbook called The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. It consisted of chopped beef, suet, and spices. The author recommended that this sausage be served with toasted bread. Hannah Glasse’s cookbook was not published in the United States until 1805. This American edition also contained the “Hamburgh Sausage” recipe with slight revisions. In addition, the original Boston Cooking School Cook Book, by Mrs. D.A. Lincoln (Mary Bailey), 1844 had a recipe for Broiled Meat Cakes and also Hamburgh Steak. Moreover, the 1894 edition of the book The Epicurean: A Complete Treatise of Analytical & Practical Studies contains a listing for Beef Steak Hamburg Style. The dish is also listed in French as Bifteck à Hambourgeoise.
Upton Sinclair (1878–1968), American novelist, described the horrors of the Chicago meat packing plants in his book called The Jungle; he was surprised that the public missed his intended point—treatment of workers—and instead took it to be an indictment of unhygienic conditions of the meat packing industry. This caused people to not trust chopped meat for several years, avoiding hamburgers.
Texas historian Frank X. Tolbert attributes the American version of the Glasse cookbook to Fletcher Davis of Athens, Texas. Davis is believed to have sold hamburgers at his café at 115 Tyler Street in Athens, Texas in the late 1880s, then brought them to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. An article about Louis’ Lunch in The New York Times on January 12, 1974 stated that the McDonald’s hamburger chain claims the inventor was an unknown food vendor at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Tolbert’s research documented that this vendor was in fact Fletcher Davis. Dairy Queen spokesman Bob Phillips made a similar claim for Dairy Queen in a commercial filmed in Athens in the 1980s calling the town the birthplace of the hamburger.
Residents of Hamburg, New York, which was named after Hamburg, Germany, attribute the hamburger to Ohioans Frank and Charles Menches. According to legend, the Menches brothers were vendors at the 1885 Erie County Fair (then called the Buffalo Fair) when they ran out of sausage for sandwiches and used beef instead. They named the result after the location of the fair. However, Frank Menches’s obituary in The New York Times states instead that these events took place at the 1892 Summit County Fair in Akron, Ohio.
The Seymour Community Historical Society of Seymour, Wisconsin, credits Charlie Nagreen, now known as “Hamburger Charlie”, with the invention of the hamburger. Nagreen was fifteen when he reportedly made sandwiches out of meatballs that he was selling at the 1885 Seymour Fair (now the Outagamie County Fair), so that customers could eat while walking. The Historical Society explains that Nagreen named the hamburger after the Hamburg steak with which local German immigrants were familiar.
The Library of Congress credits Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch, a small lunch wagon in New Haven, Connecticut, for selling the first hamburger and steak sandwich in the U.S. in 1895. New York magazine states that, “The dish actually had no name until some rowdy sailors from Hamburg named the meat on a bun after themselves years later”, noting also that this claim is subject to dispute.
There is good evidence that the first hamburger served on a bun was made by Oscar Weber Bilby of Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891.
“In April of 1995, the Dallas Morning News reported Oklahoma author says Tulsa beats out Texas as the birthplace of delicacy. Michael Wallis, author of “Route 66, The Mother Road”, was quoted by the newspaper to say he had discovered Tulsa’s place in culinary history. The discovery was made while researching the state’s tastiest hamburgers. What better place to start than the restaurant that has been voted Tulsa’s best burger more often than any other restaurant since 1933…Weber’s Root Beer Stand. Mr. Wallis’ research revealed that Oscar Weber Bilby was the first person to serve a real hamburger. On July 4, 1891, ground beef was served on his wife’s homemade buns. The Fourth of July party took place on his farm, just west of present day Tulsa. Until then, ground beef had been served in Athens, Texas on simple slices of bread, known presently and then as a “patty melt”. According to the Tulsa-based author, the bun is essential. Therefore, in 1995, Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating cited Athens, Texas’ feat of ground beef between two slices of bread to be a minor accomplishment. The Governor’s April 1995 Proclamation also cites the first true hamburger on the bun, as meticulous research shows, was created and consumed in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1891. The Governor’s Proclamation on April 13, 1995 cites Tulsa as “The Real Birthplace of the Hamburger.”
The hamburger bun was invented in 1916 by a fry cook named Walter Anderson, who co-founded White Castle in 1921.
Early major vendors
- 1921 — White Castle, Wichita, Kansas. Due to widely prevalent anti-German sentiment in the U.S. during World War I, an alternative name for hamburgers was Salisbury steak. Following the war, hamburgers became unpopular until the White Castle restaurant chain marketed and sold large numbers of small 2.5-inch square hamburgers, known as sliders. They started to punch five holes in each patty, which help them cook evenly and eliminates the need to flip the burger. White Castle began in 1995 selling frozen hamburgers in convenience stores and vending machines.
- 1940 — McDonald’s restaurant, San Bernardino, California, opened by Richard and Maurice McDonald. Their introduction of the “Speedee Service System” in 1948 established the principles of the modern fast-food restaurant. The McDonald brothers began franchising in 1953. In 1961, Ray Kroc (the supplier of their multi-mixer milkshake machines) purchased the company from the brothers for $2.7 million and a 1.9% royalty.
Hamburgers are usually a feature of fast food restaurants. The hamburgers served in major fast food establishments are usually mass-produced in factories and frozen for delivery to the site. These hamburgers are thin and of uniform thickness, differing from the traditional American hamburger prepared in homes and conventional restaurants, which is thicker and prepared by hand from ground beef. Generally most American hamburgers are round, but some fast-food chains, such as Wendy’s, sell square-cut hamburgers. Hamburgers in fast food restaurants are usually grilled on a flat-top, but some firms, such as Burger King use a gas flame grilling process. At conventional American restaurants, hamburgers may be ordered “rare” (occasionally requiring the signing of a waiver), but normally are served medium-well or well-done for food safety reasons. Fast food restaurants do not usually offer this option.
The McDonald’s fast-food chain sells the Big Mac, one of the world’s top selling hamburgers. Other major fast-food chains, including Burger King (also known as Hungry Jack’s in Australia), A&W, Culver’s, Whataburger, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s chain, Wendy’s (known for their square patties), Jack in the Box, Cook Out, Harvey’s, Shake Shack, In-N-Out Burger, Five Guys, Fatburger, Vera’s, Burgerville, Back Yard Burgers, Lick’s Homeburger, Roy Rogers, Smashburger and Sonic also rely heavily on hamburger sales. Fuddruckers and Red Robin are hamburger chains that specialize in mid-tier “restaurant-style” variety of hamburgers.
Some North American establishments offer a unique take on the hamburger beyond what is offered in fast food restaurants, using upscale ingredients such as sirloin or other steak along with a variety of different cheeses, toppings, and sauces. Some examples would be the Bobby’s Burger Palace chain founded by well-known chef and Food Network star Bobby Flay.
Hamburgers are often served as a fast dinner, picnic or party food, and are usually cooked outdoors on barbecue grills.
Raw hamburger may contain harmful bacteria that can produce food-borne illness such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, due to the occasional initial improper preparation of the meat, so caution is needed during handling and cooking. Because of the potential for food-borne illness, the USDA recommends hamburgers be cooked to an internal temperature of 170 °F (80 °C). If cooked to this temperature, they are considered well-done.
A high-quality hamburger patty is made entirely of ground (minced) beef and seasonings; this may be described as an “all-beef hamburger” or “all-beef patties” to distinguish them from inexpensive hamburgers made with added flour, textured vegetable protein, ammonia treated defatted beef trimmings what the company Beef Products Inc, calls “lean finely textured beef”, Advanced meat recovery (see below: Health-related controversies) or other filler to decrease their cost. In the 1930s ground liver was sometimes added to the patties. Some cooks prepare their patties with binders, such as eggs or breadcrumbs. Seasonings may be included with the hamburger patty including salt and pepper, and others such as parsley, onions, soy sauce, Thousand Island dressing, onion soup mix, or Worcestershire sauce. Many name brand seasoned salt products are also used.
Burgers can also be made with patties made from ingredients other than beef. For example, a turkey burger uses ground turkey meat, a chicken burger uses ground chicken meat. A buffalo burger uses ground meat from a bison, and an ostrich burger is made from ground seasoned ostrich meat. A deer burger uses ground venison from deer.
Rehydrated textured vegetable protein, TVP, has a more than 50 year safe-track record of inexpensively extending ground beef for hamburgers, without reducing its nutritional value.
A veggie burger, garden burger, or tofu burger uses a meat analogue, a meat substitute such as tofu, TVP, seitan (wheat gluten), quorn, beans, grains or an assortment of vegetables, ground up and mashed into patties.
In 2011, a Japanese scientist named Mitsuyuki created a synthetic burger made from human feces. The “burger” consisted of synthesized protein with soya and steak sauce for taste preservation. Mitsuyuki claimed the taste was similar to beef, and explained that the makeup of the burger was 63 percent protein, 25 percent carbohydrates, three percent lipids and nine percent minerals.
United States and Canada
In the United States and Canada, burgers may be classified as two main types: fast food hamburgers and individually prepared burgers made in homes and restaurants. The latter are traditionally prepared “with everything”, which includes lettuce, tomato, onion, and often sliced pickles (or pickle relish). Coleslaw and french fries usually accompany the burger. Cheese (usually processed cheese slices but often Cheddar, Swiss, pepper jack, or blue), either melted on the meat patty or crumbled on top, is generally an option.
Condiments might be added to a hamburger or may be offered separately on the side including mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, salad dressings and barbecue sauce.
Other toppings include bacon, avocado or guacamole, sliced sautéed mushrooms, cheese sauce and/or chili (usually without beans), fried egg, scrambled egg, feta cheese, blue cheese, salsa, pineapple, jalapenos and other kinds of chile peppers, anchovies, slices of ham or bologna, pastrami or teriyaki-seasoned beef, tartar sauce, french fries, onion rings or potato chips.
Standard toppings on hamburgers may depend upon location, particularly at restaurants that are not national or regional franchises. A “Texas burger” uses mustard as the only sauce, and comes with or without vegetables, jalapeno slices, and cheese. In the Upper Midwest, particularly Wisconsin, burgers are often made with a buttered bun, butter as one of the ingredients of the patty or with a pat of butter on top of the burger patty. This is called a “butter burger”. In the Carolinas, for instance, a Carolina-style hamburger “with everything” may be served with cheese, chili, onions, mustard, and coleslaw. National chain Wendy’s sells a “Carolina Classic” burger with these toppings in these areas. In Hawaii hamburgers are often topped with teriyaki sauce, derived from the Japanese-American culture, and locally grown pineapple. Waffle House claims on its menus and website to offer 70,778,880 different ways of serving a hamburger. In portions of the Midwest and East coast, a hamburger served with lettuce, tomato, and onion is called a “California burger”. This usage is sufficiently widespread to appear on the menus of Dairy Queen. In the Western U.S., a “California” burger often means a cheeseburger, with guacamole and bacon added. Pastrami burgers may be served in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- A hamburger with two patties is called a “double decker” or simply a “double”, a hamburger with three patties is called a “triple”. Doubles and triples are often combined with cheese and sometimes with bacon, yielding a “double cheeseburger” or a “triple bacon cheeseburger”, or alternatively, a “bacon double or triple cheeseburger”.
- A hamburger smothered in red or green chile is called a slopper.
- A patty melt consists of a patty, sautéed onions and cheese between two slices of rye bread. The sandwich is then buttered and fried.
- A slider is a very small square hamburger patty sprinkled with diced onions and served on an equally small bun. According to the earliest citations, the name originated aboard U.S. Navy ships, due of the way greasy burgers slid across the galley grill while the ship pitched and rolled. Other versions claim the term “slider” originated from the hamburgers served by flight line galleys at military airfields, which were so greasy they slid right through you; or because their small size allows them to “slide” right down your throat in one or two bites.
- In Alberta, Canada a “kubie burger” is a hamburger made with a pressed Ukrainian sausage (kubasa).
- In Minnesota, a “Juicy Lucy”, or “Jucy Lucy”, is a hamburger having cheese inside the meat patty rather than on top. A piece of cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked until it melts, resulting in a molten core of cheese within the patty. This scalding hot cheese tends to gush out at the first bite, so servers frequently warn patrons to let the sandwich cool for a few minutes before consumption.
- A low carb burger is a hamburger where the bun is omitted and large pieces of lettuce are used in its place, with mayonnaise and/or mustard being the sauces primarily used.
In Mexico, burgers (called hamburgesas) are served with ham and slices of American cheese (locally called queso americano) fried on top of the meat patty. The toppings include avocado, shredded lettuce, onion and tomato. The bun has mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. In certain parts are served with bacon, which can be fried or grilled along with the meat patty. A slice of pineapple is also a usual option, and the variation is known as a “Hawaiian hamburger”.
Some restaurant’s burgers also have barbecue sauce, and others also replace the ground patty with sirloin, Al pastor meat, barbacoa or a fried chicken breast. Many burger chains from the United States can be found all over Mexico, including Carl’s Jr., Sonic, as well as global chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King.
United Kingdom and Ireland
Hamburgers in the UK and Ireland are very similar to their US cousins, and the High Street is dominated by the same big two chains as in the U.S. — McDonald’s and Burger King. The menus offered to both countries are virtually identical, although portion sizes tend to be smaller in the UK. In Ireland the food outlet Supermacs is widespread throughout the country serving burgers as part of its menu. In Ireland, Abrakebabra (started out selling kebabs) and Eddie Rockets are also major chains.
An original and indigenous rival to the big two U.S. giants was the quintessentially British fast-food chain Wimpy, originally known as Wimpy Bar (opened 1954 at the Lyon’s Corner House in Coventry Street London), which served its hamburgers on a plate with British-style chips, accompanied by cutlery and delivered to the customer’s table. In the late 1970s, to compete with McDonald’s, Wimpy began to open American-style counter-service restaurants and the brand disappeared from many UK high streets when those restaurants were rebranded as Burger Kings between 1989-90 by the then-owner of both brands, Grand Metropolitan. A management buyout in 1990 split the brands again and now Wimpy table-service restaurants can still be found in many town centers whilst new counter-service Wimpys are now often found at motorway service stations.
Hamburgers are also available from mobile kiosks, particularly at outdoor events such as football matches. Burgers from this type of outlet are usually served without any form of salad — only fried onions and a choice of tomato ketchup, mustard or brown sauce.
Chip shops, particularly in the West Midlands, North-East, Scotland and Ireland, serve battered hamburgers called batter burgers. This is where the burger patty, by itself, is deep-fat-fried in batter and is usually served with chips.
Hamburgers and veggie burgers served with chips and salad, are standard pub grub menu items. Many pubs specialize in “gourmet” burgers. These are usually high quality minced steak patties, topped with items such as blue cheese, brie, avocado et cetera. Some British pubs serve burger patties made from more exotic meats including venison burgers (sometimes nicknamed Bambi Burgers), bison burgers, ostrich burgers and in some Australian themed pubs even kangaroo burgers can be purchased. These burgers are served in a similar way to the traditional hamburger but are sometimes served with a different sauce including redcurrant sauce, mint sauce and plum sauce.
In the early 21st century “premium” hamburger chain and independent restaurants have arisen, selling burgers produced from meat stated to be of high quality and often organic, usually served to eat on the premises rather than to take away. Chains include Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Ultimate Burger, Hamburger Union and Byron Hamburgers in London.
In recent years Rustlers has sold pre-cooked hamburgers re-heatable in a microwave oven in the United Kingdom.
In the UK, as in North America and Japan, the term “burger” can refer simply to the patty, be it beef, some other kind of meat, or vegetarian.
Australia and New Zealand
Fast food franchises sell American style fast food hamburgers in both Australia and New Zealand. The traditional Australasian hamburgers are usually bought from fish and chip shops or milk bars. The hamburger meat is almost always ground beef, or “mince” as it is more commonly referred to in Australia and New Zealand. They almost always include tomato, lettuce, grilled onion and meat as minimum, and can optionally include cheese, beetroot (canned slices), pineapple, a fried egg (usually with a soft yolk) and bacon. If all these optional ingredients are included it is known in Australia as “The Lot”. The only variance between the two countries’ hamburgers is that New Zealand’s equivalent to the “The Lot” often contains a steak (beef) as well. The only condiments regularly used are barbecue sauce and tomato sauce. The McDonald’s “McOz” Burger is partway between American and Australian style burgers, having beetroot and tomato in an otherwise typical American burger, however it is no longer a part of the menu. Likewise McDonald’s in New Zealand created a Kiwiburger, similar to a Quarter Pounder, but features salad, beetroot and a fried egg. The Hungry Jack’s (Burger King) “Aussie Burger” has tomato, lettuce, onion, cheese, bacon, beetroot, egg, ketchup and a meat patty.
In China, restaurants such as McDonald’s and KFC have been proliferating all across the country. In many parts of China, small hamburger chains have opened up. Restaurants such as Peter Burger attempt to copy McDonald’s.
In supermarkets and corner stores, customers can buy unrefrigerated “hamburgers” (hanbao) off the bread shelf. These are ultra-sweet buns cut open with a thin slice of pork or ham placed inside without any condiments or vegetables. These hanbao are a half-westernised form of the traditional Cantonese buns called “char siu bao” (BBQ Pork Bun). The Chinese word for hamburger (hanbao) often refers to all sandwiches containing hamburger buns and cooked meat, regardless of the meat’s origin including chicken burgers.
In Japan, hamburgers can be served in a bun, called hanbāgā (ハンバーガー), or just the patties served without a bun, known as hanbāgu (ハンバーグ) or “hamburg”, short for “hamburg steak”.
Hamburg steaks (served without buns) are similar to what is known as Salisbury steaks in the USA. They are made from minced beef, pork or a blend of the two, mixed with minced onions, egg, breadcrumbs and spices. They are served with brown sauce (or demi-glace in restaurants) with vegetable or salad sides, or occasionally in Japanese curries. It is may be served in casual, western style suburban restaurant chains known in Japan as “family restaurants”.
Hamburgers in buns, on the other hand, are predominantly the domain of fast food chains such as American chains known as McDonald’s and Wendy’s. Japan has home grown hamburger chain restaurants such as MOS Burger, First Kitchen and Lotteria. Local varieties of burgers served in Japan include teriyaki burgers, katsu burgers (containing tonkatsu) and burgers containing shrimp korokke. Some of the more unusual examples include the “Rice Burger”, where the bun is made of rice, and the luxury 1000-yen (US$10) “Takumi Burger” (meaning “artisan taste”), featuring avocados, freshly grated wasabi, and other rare seasonal ingredients. In terms of the actual patty, there are burgers made with Kobe beef, butchered from cows that are fed with beer and massaged daily. McDonald’s Japan also recently launched a McPork burger, made with U.S. pork. McDonald’s has been gradually losing market share in Japan to these local hamburger chains, due in part to the preference of Japanese diners for fresh ingredients and more refined, “upscale” hamburger offerings. Burger King once retreated from Japan, but re-entered the market in Summer 2007 in cooperation with the Japanese fast-food chain Lotteria.
Rice burgers, mentioned above, are also available in several East Asian countries such as Taiwan and South Korea. Lotteria is a big hamburger franchise in Japan owned by the South Korean Lotte group, with outlets also in China, South Korea, Vietnam, and Taiwan. In addition to selling beef hamburgers, they also have hamburgers made from squid, pork, tofu, and shrimp. Variations available in South Korea include Bulgogi burgers and Kimchi burgers.
In the Philippines a wide range of major U.S. fast-food franchises are well represented, together with local imitators, often amended to the local palate. The chain McDonald’s (locally nicknamed “McDo”) have a range of burger and chicken dishes often accompanied by plain steamed rice and/or French fries. The Philippines boasts its own burger-chain called Jollibee, which offers burger meals and chicken, including a signature burger called “The Big Champ”. Jollibee now has a number of outlets in the United States, the Middle East and East Asia.
In India, burgers are usually made from chicken or a vegetable patties due to cultural beliefs against eating beef (which stem from Hindu religious practice) and pork (which stems from Islamic religious practice). Because of this, the majority of fast food chains and restaurants in India do not serve beef. McDonald’s in India, for instance, do not serve beef, offering the “Maharaja Mac” instead of the Big Mac, substituting the beef patties with chicken. Another version of the Indian vegetarian burger is the Wada Pav consisting deep-fried potato patty dipped in gramflour batter. It is usually served with mint chutney and fried green chili.
In Pakistan, apart from American fast food chains, burgers can be found in stalls near shopping areas, the best known being the “shami burger”. This is made from “shami kebab”, made by mixing lentil and minced lamb. Onions, scrambled egg and ketchup are the most may be toppings.
In Malaysia there are 300 McDonald’s restaurants. The menu in Malaysia also includes eggs and fried chicken on top of the regular burgers. Burgers are also easily found at nearby mobile kiosks, especially Ramly Burger.
In Mongolia, a recent fast food craze due to the sudden influx of foreign influence has led to the prominence of the hamburger. Specialized fast food restaurants serving to Mongolian tastes have sprung up and seen great success.
In Turkey, in addition to the internationally familiar variations of burgers, localized variations of the hamburger such as the Islak Burger (lit. “Wet-Burger”), lamb-burgers and offal-burgers are offered by global chains McDonald’s and Burger King and local fast food businesses alike. The Islak Hamburger, which is typically assembled with just the patty and bun, coated with seasoned tomato sauce and stemed within a glass chamber, has its origins in the Turkish fast food retailer Kizilkayalar. Furthermore, hamburger shops have also adopted a pizzaria-like approach when it comes to delivering and almost all major fast food chains deliver.
In Mexico, burgers are often accompanied by ham and avocado. They also usually have shredded lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and bacon, which can be fried or grilled along with the meat patty, cheese, and condiments. Some restaurant’s burgers also have barbecue sauce, and others also replace the ground patty with sirloin, meat “al pastor”, barbacoa, and other “guisados” or a fried chicken breast. In the city of Puebla, the hamburger is often served without the bun, accompanied by corn tortillas. Many burger chains from the United States can be found all over Mexico, including Carl’s Jr., Sonic, as well as global chains such as McDonald’s and Burger King.
Ammonia is being used in amounts to obtain an obligatory pH of 10 to remove E. coli and Salmonella; the ammonia is classified as a ‘processing agent’ and is not included on the list of ingredients. According to the Washington Post, this technology-based approach to reducing the risk of bacteria has received widespread support from the industry’s harshest critics at organizations such as Safe Tables Our Priority and the Food Safety Institute for the Consumer Federation of America. Many experts point to the role of these processes in protecting the food supply against outbreaks such as the European E. Coli outbreak.
This ammonia-treated meat derivative contains defatted beef trimmings previously only used for pet food and rendered into cooking oil prior to the development of advanced safety and processing techniques. According to the New York Times, a study financed by Beef Products Inc., which makes the product they call “lean finely textured beef”, from fatty beef trimmings. The product is now being utilized with USDA approval in hamburgers of the American fast-food industry, grocery stores and the federal school lunch program, as its price is substantially lower and said it saves about $1 million a year in school lunch costs. Products treated in this manner have been subject to complaints of an ‘ammonia odor’ if the percentage of ammonia is too high, leading to adjustments of the percentage of ammonia used, which may affect the efficacy of the process. According to The New York Times, information obtained from both government and industry sources call into question effectiveness claims for the treatment in the school lunch program, these records show that since 2005, E. coli and salmonella pathogens have been found twice in Beef Products Inc. meat, which uses the process. The records include two consecutive incidents in August 2009 where two 27,000-pound batches were found to be contaminated. The contaminated product was removed before it could be distributed to students for consumption. That article and a similar one telling the story of a young woman paralyzed from eating one single E. coli-infected hamburger, produced by agribusiness giant Cargill, won a Pulitzer Prize for its author Michael Moss on Tuesday, April 13, 2010.
- At $499, the world’s largest hamburger commercially available tips the scales at 185.8 pounds and is on the menu at Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar in Southgate, Michigan. It is called the “Absolutely Ridiculous Burger”, which takes about 12 hours to prepare. It was cooked and adjudicated on 30 May 2009.
- A $777 Kobe beef and Maine lobster burger, topped with caramelized onion, Brie cheese and prosciutto, was reported available at Le Burger Brasserie, inside the Paris Las Vegas casino.
- New York chef Daniel Boulud created an intricate dish composed of layers of ground sirloin, foie gras, and wine-braised short ribs, assembled to look exactly like a fast-food burger. It is available with truffles in season.
- “$100 hamburger” (“hundred-dollar hamburger”) is aviation slang for a general aviation pilot needing an excuse to fly. A $100 hamburger trip typically involves flying a short distance (less than two hours), eating at an airport restaurant, and flying home.
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