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A Hamburg Welcome

Hamburger Day

May 28

Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day

Today's Musings, History & Folklore

"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

~ Popeye Comic Strip, J. Wellington Wimpy, 1931

Whether classic or veggie, everyone loves the idea of being able to hold their hamburger in a bun! Although hotly disputed by food historians, the city of Hamburg is credited for the origin of the modern hamburger, through its traditional seasoned chopped beef dishes, frikadellen or buletten. As in the case of other place name foods, one of the earliest references to the hamburger's ancestor appears in an English cookbook from 1763. Hannah Glasse in Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy tells how to make a "Hamburg sausage" which also became known in its flatter form as "hamburger steak." Fascinatingly, the infamous Wild West town of Tombstone ,Arizona, location of the famous shootout at the O.K. corral between Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday and the Clantons in 1881, is associated with an early description of the hamburger in a sandwich form! In 1896, the Tombstone Prospector newspaper reported that the residents of Bisbee rejoiced at the arrival of a lunch wagon offering pies, hot “tomales,” hamburger sandwiches and other delicacies, “fully guaranteed to be free from all bad effects in the way of nightmares, indigestion, etc.” But it is fry cook Walter Anderson in 1916, who is credited with creation of the modern hambuger in a bun - starting from a luncheon wagon, to hamburger stands, to White Castle Burgers! Coming full circle in bun fashion, hamburgers now exist in signature styles in many countries and cities, including the city of Hamburg. 🍔

A Hamburg Welcome

Should you want to do a deep dive into the origin of the popularity with the hamburger, you could easily go back to ancient Rome!

Centuries before the 20th century hamburger and all its variations, there was isicia omentata. Seasoned with white wine and fish sauce, the ancient Roman recipe could be history's earliest example of a hamburger, according to IFL Science. 

The cookbook Apicius, which dates from the fourth or fifth century and was likely named for Marcus Gavius Apicius, who chronicled the extravagant diets of early Rome's upper class, contains a minced meat patty served with a bread roll, a sort of deconstructed burger.

The meat was flavored with ingredients like pine nuts, peppercorns, and a fermented fish sauce called garum.  The roll that came with it was soaked in white wine!

Today variations of the hamburger appear everywhere, with even the development of the Haggis Burger, a recipe from Gary Maclean, National Chef of Scotland, should you want the drive-through equivalent of a fast food Burns supper!  Don't forget the neeps and tatties chips with that.

For a list of the best hamburgers in Hamburg, click the Helden & Co. hambuger!

A Hamburg Welcome
A Hamburg Welcome

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