Friday, January 23, 2009

Why is it Called a "Hamburger?"

Ever wonder why a hamburger is called a hamburger when it contains no ham? The Tartars, a Turkic-speaking people who lived in central Asia, were rugged, nomadic horsepeople who ate raw beef. Even though they were a rugged group, they soon decided that raw meat would be easier to eat if it were a little more tender. They found that, before a long days ride, they would put a slab of meat under their saddles and the bouncing would pound the meat to bits. Once they reached their destination, they would gather the morsels and season it with salt, pepper, onions and eat what we have called steak tartar.

In the mid 19th century, a merchant from Hamburg, Germany, who was a regular trader in Asia, came upon the recipe and took it back to Germany. It was introduced as a Hamburg steak and later, a cook decided to broil the meat, and by the end of the 19th century it became known as Hamburger meat.

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