National Cheeseburger Day on September 18th honors America’s favorite sandwich with a slice of cheese. There are many theories to the beginning of the cheeseburger dating back to the 1920s.
- One story suggests that Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in 1926 while working at his father’s Pasadena, California sandwich shop, The Rite Spot. During an experiment, he dropped a slice of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger.
- A cheeseburger appeared on a 1928 menu at O’Dell’s, a Los Angeles restaurant, which listed a cheeseburger, smothered with chili, for 25 cents.
- Kaelin’s Restaurant – Louisville, Kentucky says it invented the cheeseburger in 1934.
- Denver, Colorado – 1935 – A trademark for the name “cheeseburger” was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.
- According to its archives, Gus Belt, founder of Steak n’ Shake, applied for a trademark on the word “cheeseburger” in the 1930s.
- The popular Jimmy Buffett song “Cheeseburger in Paradise” was inspired by a boat trip Buffett took. Hampered by bad weather and tired of the canned food and peanut butter stocked aboard, Buffett found himself continually craving a cheeseburger. When the boat finally docked on the island of Tortola, Buffett was able to order the cheeseburger he had been fantasizing about.
- Mayor McCheese, the giant cartoon cheeseburger who served as the mayor of McDonaldland from 1971-1985, was at the center of a lawsuit filed against McDonalds over the character’s resemblance to H.R. Pufnstuf. It was settled in 1977.
- Each year, Americans eat a whopping 50 billion burgers, or three burgers a week.
- Hamburgers and cheeseburgers account for 71 percent of beef served in commercial hotels in the United States.
- McDonalds sells 75 hamburgers a second.
- The most expensive burger sold in America is sold from the New York City food truck 666 Burger. The $666 burger is wrapped in a gold leaf, topped with lobster, caviar, truffles, foie gras, and aged gruyere cheese melted with steam from champagne poured on a hot griddle. The good thing is you get $300 back, as the burger comes wrapped in three greasy $100 bills.
- The biggest cheeseburger ever was cooked by a Minnesota casino in 2012 and weighed 2,014 pounds. It required a special oven, a crane, and a special bun that had to be baked for seven hours.
- Sonya Thomas holds the world record of eating a Big Daddy Cheeseburger weighing 4 kilograms (9 pounds) in exactly 27 minutes. She also holds a record for eating seven 340 grams (3/4 lb) burgers in 10 mins.
- During the First World War the U.S. Government tried to rename burgers as “Liberty Sandwiches” in order to promote patriotism and avoid using its original Germanic name.
- Approximately 40 percent of hamburgers served in the United States contain cheese on them. A survey conducted at Red Robin stated that over 70 percent of their customers would like cheese added into the patty itself.
- The Library of Congress credits Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant, owner of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut as the creator of the hamburger as we know it.
- The Hamburger hall of fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin. It celebrates hamburger history.