America’s favorite sandwich is honored on September 18th with a slice of cheese. It’s National Cheeseburger Day!
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.
- As the story goes, a homeless man dining at Sternberger’s restaurant in Pasadena, California, suggested the addition of a slice of cheese to his hamburger order. Sternberger complied, eventually added it to his menu, and the rest is history.
- 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. Yet he never enforced it.
- According to its archives, Gus Belt, founder of Steak n’ Shake, applied for a trademark on the word “cheeseburger” in the 1930s.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Each year, Americans eat a whopping 50 billion burgers, or three burgers a week. That’s a lot of beef!
- Hamburgers and cheeseburgers account for 71 percent of beef served in commercial hotels in the United States.
- McDonalds sells 75 hamburgers a second.
- If all Hamburgers eaten by Americans in a year are arranged in a straight line, it would circle our Earth 32 times or more!
- According to the Oxford English Dictionary, hamburger was first abbreviated to burger in 1939.
- The Hamburger hall of fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin. It celebrates hamburger history.