May. 09, 2012 - Issue #864: The Barbecutionist
Six things about burgers
Adding cheese to the classic hamburger—invented in Hamburg, Germany in the 19th century—became popular in the mid-1920s to mid-1930s. Numerous restaurants were competing for the bragging rights of creating the first cheeseburger. Allegedly, the credit goes to Lionel Sternberger in the mid-1920s at the age of 16 while working as a fry cook at his father's sandwich shop, The Rite Spot in Pasadena, California. However, others argue they deserve the honour. In 1936, the trademark for the name cheeseburger was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado.
Traditionally, cheeseburgers are topped with lettuce, tomato, pickles and condiments such as mayo, mustard or ketchup, but some people like to switch it up and stick potato chips, French fries and or a fried egg in the mix too.
Bring your appetite
The world's largest commercially available burger, according to the Guinness Book of World Records was made at Mallie's Sports Grill in Southgate, Michigan on January 26, 2011. The monstrous burger weighed in at 144.7 kg (319 lb) and is available for $1800.
The most expensive burger was created by Chef Hubert Keller at the Fleur restaurant at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The FleurBurger 5000 comes with a $5000 price tag and is made with Kobe beef topped with a slab of foie gras, truffle sauce and black truffle shavings on a brioche truffle bun. The upside of the hefty price tag is the free bottle of Chateau Petrus 1995 that comes with the order. The wine retails at about $5300 a bottle. Oh yeah, you also get to keep the wine glasses, which are Ichendorf Brunello stemware from Italy that get shipped to your home after the meal.
Not your average Big Mac
McDonald's menu isn't standard around the world. The iconic Big Mac, which was first served in 1968 for 49 cents, gets a different twist in India with the Chicken Maharaja Mac, since the Hindu people do not eat beef. In Greece, they often ditch the bun and replace it with a pita, while in China, rice patties are sometimes used as a bun substitute.
More refined than processed
Cheeseburgers generally bring to mind thin slices of bright yellow processed cheese, but other varieties have much more flavour. If you want to experiment, Gruyère, Comté, Brie, Taleggio, Fontina melt just as well as the processed varieties. Other options that pack a punch in terms of flavour are aged cheddar, Monteray Jack, aged Provolone or Parmigiano-Reggiano. V vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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