"An Animated History Of The Hamburger" Video Shows The Classic Sandwich Has An Unexpectedly Rich History
Happy National Hamburger Month! To celebrate this momentous occasion, Grub Street has created an animated history of the hamburger — and it turns out the story of this humble foodstuff is surprisingly rich and complex. Narrated by George Motz, a self-proclaimed "hamburger expert" according to his Twitter profile, the video was drawn beautifully by illustrator Jorge Corona. It's also totally droolworthy, so if you haven't already eaten lunch yet... well, let's just say your "what should I eat today?" conundrum has just been solved.
I would have thought the hamburger was an American invention, but it turns out that this fast food delicacy is over 800 years old! In fact, the hamburger dates back to the 13th century, back to the days of the Mongols. The warriors of the dynasty attached mutton underneath the saddles of the horses they rode, which tenderizes the meat while getting them from place to place, making them the ultimate multitaskers. So the next time someone grills you for eating greasy fast food, tell them you're consuming an ancient delicacy.
There is definitely a lot to chew on (OK, pun intended) in this animated short, but if you want to learn even more about the history of the hamburger, make sure to check out Grub Street's incredibly detailed feature. Here are three things you didn't know about the humble beginnings of everyone's favorite sandwich; scroll down to watch the full video.
1. German Immigrants Tried to Bring the Hamburger to America...
...Only to discover that it had actually already arrived (whoops). German immigrants who arrived in the U.S. in the 19th century sailed out from the port of Hamburg, where they consumed a dish called hamburg steak — that is, chopped beef with potatoes and gravy. When they got to America however, they found that hamburg steak was already a hit in food trucks and restaurants across Manhattan.
2. The Hamburg Steak Became a Hit Before the Hamburger
The hamburg steak spread from New York across America during the 19th century, soon becoming a very popular dish. The hamburger as we know it today was actually a spin-off of the original hamburg steak, proving that spin-offs can be better than the original.
3. Hamburgers Became Standardized by White Castle
Fast food chain White Castle made the hamburger bun a standard part of the burger in America, which George Motz calls this "the most important moment in hamburger history. Who knew that they were responsible for the food we've come to know and love?
Wondering how the hamburg steak transitioned into the traditional hamburger of White Castle? Watch the full video below to find out:
Images: New York Magazine/YouTube (3)