The burger is an American icon that has found much love across the world. It might not be the healthiest option around, but it still continues to sell by the truckload. On the eve of International Burger Day, we tell you stuff that you probably didn’t know about the iconic snack.
* Nobody knows for sure who or where the first hamburger was served. But what is certain is that the hamburger steak, brought to the United States by German immigrants in the 1800s, became the hamburger when it was placed between two slices of bread, writes popular food blogger Tori Avey on toriavey.com.
* Despite the arrival of some serious competition, especially over the past year from the likes of Burger King, McDonald’s India, which set up shop in the country, in the mid-1990s, still dominates the scene. According to an article in Business Today, the company uses around 9.7 crore patties, 330 metric tonnes of cheese slices and 1,200 tonnes of iceberg lettuce annually.
* A lot of eateries have vied with each other to make the world’s most expensive burger, and one among them is the Glamburger, which was made by London restaurant Honky Tonk in 2014. The Glamburger, which cost around Rs 1,15,000, featured beef patty made from Kobe Wagyu beef and some venison from New Zealand, Canadian lobster poached in Iranian saffron, Beluga caviar, and gold leaf among others.
* According to pbs.org, Americans eat around 50 billion burgers annually. The Big Mac, the world’s most popular burger, was launched in 1967 by McDonald’s. The Big Mac — “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – on a sesame seed bun” — will turn 50 next year. Burger King’s Whopper is almost as famous as the Big Mac. McDonald’s best-seller in India is the McAloo Tikki, which accounts for around 25 percent of the company’s sales.
* The famous American writer Ernest Hemingway was a big hamburger fan. And, his recipe included some India Relish. India Relish was first introduced in America by food company Heinz. While there was nothing really Indian about it — it was loosely inspired by relishes from India — what Heinz was trying to do was to cash in on the exotic appeal of the Orient. Its Mandalay Sauce, “composed of choicest fruits, vegetables and spices of foreign and domestic origin”, was another such example.
* There is a movie being made on Ray Kroc, who founded McDonald’s in 1955. (By 1958, McDonald’s had already sold around a 100 million burgers.) ‘The Founder’, starring Michael Keaton as Ray Kroc, is directed by John Lee Hancock, and will be released in August this year. Watch the trailer of The Founder here
* In 2013 Dutch professor Mark Post created the world’s first lab-grown beef burger. At the time it cost Post and his team around $ 367,000 (Rs 2.5 crore approx.) to develop the burger. In March last year Post announced that the same burger could now be technically made for as little as $11.36 (Rs 700 approx.). Lab-grown meat is widely believed to be the future of meat.