guten tag meine hamburglers!
to continue the epic journey across the u.s. in search of the the truth about burgers. last we spoke we learned the origin of the burger, as we know it.
now, lets check out some of the stories about widespread claimability of the sandwich origin of this man-obsessed beast meat.
yes, many have staked claim as the first…the inventor…but no one knows for sure. The true origin of the burger, as a sandwich, eludes us. history is spread mustardly thin in this area, which only leads me to ponder…what are they hiding, why the cloaks and confusion? what the….?
first is a man they called charlie ‘hamburger’ nagreen. sure…it’s possible…hamburger is his middle name after all. As a young man in wisconsin, in 1885, charlie worked at the seymour fair as a successful vendor of meatballs. can you see the forest for the trees yet? little charlie figured out a genius way for his messy and frustrated costumers to easily ‘walk and eat’ with his meatballs. until that eureka moment, conditions at the meatball counter must have been awkward…..
” two balls please…yes, just in the palm of my hands is fine…. no plates, forks or nappies?….. that’s just peachy, i’ll just lick and nip at these hot balls…thanks!”
so charlie took one of his meatballs and swished, smashed, and flattened it between two slices of bread….smart! now the good people of seymour need no longer burn their delicate hands. he then saw fit to name it ‘hamburger’. is everybody happy? Yahhh!! but is it true…could it have really happened that way?
the next unlikely candidate are siblings most knew as frank and robert menches; also working as, suspiciously, fair vendors in hamburg, new york. one day at the fair the brothers ran out of their best seller, pulled pork sandwiches but with hungry, gaping and drooling mouths and many snake eyes glaring at them, they had to conspire up something, quick, fast and in a hurry! the crowd roars!.
with this unruly and pork deprived crowd, the conditions for invention were perfect if not a neccessity.
the brothers booked it to the nearest butcher and purchased some beef of which they poked and prodded to liking and served them up between two slices of bread. this story comes seven years later than the first. descendants of the menches family are still in the burger biz..go figure!
next on the hit list of unusual suspects is louie lassen of new haven, connecticut. louie operated a lunch wagon that served many factory men at the time and this is, reportedly where he claims the hamburger sandwich was born. the legend reveals that a man of business was in a rush and requested something from louie’s wagon to go. what flash unknowingly got was the first hamburger sandwich and louie became the man with the hamburger wagon.
sure any one of these claimants could very well be the grand-daddy of the hamburger sandwich but one question remains. how did they all come up with ‘hamburger’ as a fitting name? all of them..weird? or something else? my search continues!