From Academic Kids

This article is about the sandwich known as a hamburger. The term hamburger is also sometimes used as a synonym for ground beef.
Hamburgers often contain lettuce, onions, and other toppings, as shown here.
Hamburgers often contain lettuce, onions, and other toppings, as shown here.
Missing image
Nutrition data for an 11-ounce all-beef hamburger without a bun — far larger than most people will eat.

A hamburger (or, less frequently, a hamburg, or in the United Kingdom, a beefburger) is a variant on a sandwich involving a patty of ground meat that is almost always beef. The meat can be grilled, fried, or broiled, and is generally served with various condiments inside a bun baked specially for this purpose. Burgers are often served with french fries.

Hamburgers are a common picnic and party food cooked outdoors on barbecue grills.

Many fast food restaurants rely heavily on the hamburger sandwich for the bulk of their sales. The McDonald's chain of restaurants sells a burger called the Big Mac that is the world's best selling. Other major fast-food chains, such as Burger King and Wendy's also rely heavily on hamburger sales.



The name comes from the German city of Hamburg, a person from Hamburg being a "Hamburger"; by extension inanimate objects such as ground beef patties that either originated or enjoyed early popularity there took the same name. (Unlike the city it is derived from, the word "hamburger" is spelled as a common noun, with a lowercase letter "H.") Originally a ground beef patty was known as "Hamburger steak" (first mentioned in an American cookbook in 1891); when this was put between bread or in a bun it was called a "Hamburger sandwich." By the mid 20th century both terms were commonly shortened to "hamburger" or simply "burger."

The term "burger" has now become generic, and may refer to sandwiches that have ground meat (or even vegetarian) fillings other than a beef patty.

The Chinese word for hamburger (hanbaobao) often refers to all sandwiches with cooked meat in it, regardless of the meat's origin. This includes chicken burgers, as KFC is very popular in China.


The hamburger's history is disputed. There is a description of something that is almost certainly similar in Roman texts. In Hamburg it was common to put a piece of roast pork into a roll days, called Rundstück warm, although this is missing the essence of the modern hamburger, that the meat first be ground.

Seymour, Wisconsin, USA, claims to have invented the modern hamburger. Charlie Nagreen tried selling fried meatballs at the Outagamie County fair in 1885, but customers found them hard to eat while walking around the fair, so Nagreen flattened it and made it into a sandwich he called the "hamburger." Seymour is home to the Hamburger Hall of Fame and the world's largest hamburger, weighing in at 8,266 pounds (3,749 kg).

Hamburg, New York, USA, also claims credit for the invention of the hamburger. This village celebrates a "Burgerfest" every summer, held to mark the anniversary of the hamburger's creation at the Erie County Fair in 1885 by the Menches brothers.

Another claim is made by a small lunch counter in the town of New Haven, Connecticut, USA, named Louis' Lunch. It is sometimes credited with having invented this quick businessman's meal for busy office workers in the late 19th Century. Louis' Lunch was serving hamburgers from its closet-sized original location in the 1970s until it had to be re-located to 261-263 Crown Street to make room for a high-rise. Their burgers are made the same way they were in the late 1800s, which means no condiments allowed; the only permitted garnishes are cheese, tomato, and onion.

Due to widely prevalent anti-German sentiment in the USA during the First World War, an alternative name for hamburgers ("salisbury steaks") became more common for the duration; hamburgers' popularity even after the war was severely depressed until the White Castle chain of restaurants created a business model featuring sales of large numbers of small hamburgers (later sometimes called "sliders," "grease grenades," "gut bombs" and other dysphemisms) in the mid-1920s. The fast-food hamburger began its ascent to modern popularity when Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's franchise in the mid-1950s.


Template:Cookbook The name hamburger may appear misleading, as some people think that the name refers to its main ingredient— which is not "ham"— when in actuality, as noted earlier in this article, the name refers to the town of Hamburg, Germany.

Except for in countries such as China, a commercial hamburger usually contains no ham or other pork product. It is made primarily of ground beef, although it may also contain spices and other ingredients. This is also known as a beef hamburger or a "beefburger." A beef hamburger that contains no other ingredients besides the beef itself is referred to as an "all beef hamburger" or "all beef patties." Some prepare their patties with egg, bread crumbs, onions, parsley or other ingredients.

Recent years have seen the increasing popularity of new types of "burgers" in which alternatives to ground beef are used as the primary ingredient. For example, a turkey burger uses ground turkey meat, a chicken burger uses either ground chicken meat or chicken fillets, a buffalo burger uses ground meat from a bison, and a veggie burger or tofu burger uses a meat substitute (such as tofu, TVP, seitan, or an assortment of vegetables, ground up and mashed into patties).

Serving style

Methods of serving hamburgers vary considerably in different countries.

United States

In American restaurants, burgers can be divided into two main types, fast food hamburgers and ones served at sit down restaurants. The latter is traditionally offered "with everything" (or "all the way," "the works," or in some regions "dressed") which includes lettuce, tomato, onion, and often a pickle (or pickle relish). Cheese (usually American processed cheese but often cheddar, Swiss, or bleu, either melted on the meat patty or crumbled on top), is generally an option. Technically, a hamburger with cheese is instead classified as a "cheeseburger." Condiments are usually offered separately ("on the side"), most commonly mustard and ketchup. However, mayonnaise and other salad dressings are also popular, as are salsa and other kinds of peppers. Heinz 57 sauce is popular among die-hard burger enthusiasts. Other popular toppings include bacon, guacamole, fried egg, feta cheese, sliced mushrooms or mushroom sauce, chili (with or without beans), slices of ham, tartar sauce, or slices of jalapeno peppers.

Standard toppings on hamburgers can vary by geographical region, particularly at restaurants that are not national or regional franchises. In portions of the Carolinas, for instance, a hamburger "with everything" may be served with cheese, chili, onions, mustard, and cole slaw (usually a vinegar-heavy slaw with little or no mayonnaise). Some restaurants, attempting to make a time-honored dish seem more novel, use foreign ingredients such as teriyaki sauce. A hamburger with two patties is a "double hamburger," while a hamburger with three patties is a "triple hamburger." Doubles and triples are often combined with cheese and occasionally with bacon as well, yielding a "double bacon cheeseburger" or a "triple bacon cheeseburger," or alternatively, a "bacon double/triple cheeseburger." To decrease cooking and serving time, fast food hamburgers have thinner patties than their fancier counterparts. They are usually already packaged with a variety of condiments, and to get a fast food hamburger without one of these standard condiments, a special order may be required. Due to the recent low carbohydrate fad (popularized by the Atkins diet), many restaurants are offering their hamburgers without a bun, wrapping them instead with lettuce.

In the United States, the source of the meat used in hamburgers (substandard beef or meat other than beef) is often the subject of jokes.

United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom hamburger patties - usually known either as "beefburgers" or just "burgers" - are either specified as 100% beef (with seasoning) or they often can incorporate extra ingredients such as egg, onion, breadcrumbs and have a sausage-like taste and texture. Burgers also tend to be described by their combined uncooked weight, with a single uncooked burger a nominal four ounces; so, instead of a "double hamburger" one might encounter an 'eight-ounce burger', and so on. The dressings used are usually lettuce, tomato and onion with various condiments including ketchup, mayonaise, brown sauce, chilli sauce or mustard or additions such as fried eggs, cheese or bacon. The use of pickles is less common outside of U.S.-dominated franchises such as McDonald's.

Hamburgers are often available from mobile kiosks, particularly at outdoor events such football matches. Burgers from this type of outlet are usually served without any form of salad - only fried onions and a choice of sauce (usually just tomato ketchup or brown sauce).

Australia and New Zealand

Australian and New Zealand hamburgers generally include tomato, lettuce, cheese, and meat (with BBQ or tomato sauce) as minimum, and can optionally include beetroot, onion, egg, bacon, and pineapple (aka "burger with the lot").


In Japan, hamburgers are almost never made at home as sandwiches, but more as something closer to salisbury steak, which is referred to as a hanbāgu (ハンバーグ). Although this is also the case at many restaurants, a separate word, hanbāgā (ハンバーガー), is used for the sandwich. These are almost exclusively the realm of McDonald's restaurants in Japan, but there are some home grown hamburger chain restaurants (for example, Mos Burger) which serve what many consider to be excellent, if unusual, hamburgers.

A patty melt is a sandwich consisting of a hamburger patty, sauted onions and cheese between two sliced of rye bread. The sandwich is then grilled so that the cheese melts thoroughly.


In China, restaurants such as McDonald's and KFC have been proliferating all across this country. In many parts of China, small hamburger chains have opening up to capitalize on the popularity of hamburgers with children. Restaurants such as Peter Burger, although they attempt to copy McDonalds, use hamburger patties that are not 100% beef, although they claim to be.

Hamburgers have become something as the "stereotypical westerners' diet" and are seen as "cool" or trendy. Families do not often go out to eat a meal at places such as KFC (even though KFC does not sell hamburgers, but rather chicken burgers, many kids falsely believe that KFC is the inventor of hamburgers). Instead of buying a child a toy or stuffed animal, parents often buy children a hamburger as a reward for doing well on an exam.

In supermarkets and corner stores, customers can buy "hamburgers" off the bread shelf. These unrefrigerated so-called "hamburgers" are nothing more than ultra-sweet buns cut open with a thin slice of pork or ham placed inside without any condiments or vegetables.

East Asia

In several East Asian countries such as Taiwan and South Korea, some fast food restaurants offer a hamburger variation that uses rice instead of bread for the bun. The "bun" is made from glutinous rice, which has a sticky consistency allowing it to form the bun without falling apart.

Lotteria is a big hamburger franchise based in Japan , with restaurants also in Japan, China, Vietnam, and Taiwan. In addition to selling beef hamburgers, they also have hamburgers made from squid, pork, rice, tofu, and shrimp.

Nutritional facts of some popular hamburgers

Item Serving size (g) Calories (kcal) Fats (g) Protein (g) Carbohydrates (g) Cholesterol (mg) Sodium (mg)
Big Mac® 219 600 33 25 50 85 1050
Whopper® 291 700 42 31 52 85 1020

See also

External links

eo:Hamburgero fr:Hamburger hu:Hamburger id:Hamburger ja:ハンバーガー ko:햄버거 nl:Hamburger no:Hamburger pl:Hamburger sv:Hamburgare zh-tw:漢堡包


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