burger

Last weekend we got together with our friends Brent and Heather from Virginia is for Hunter-Gatherers and collaborated on a couple of dishes. Brent tackled a cole slaw that was pretty dang tasty, and we also built a few interesting fork-and-knife burger creations based on some standard burger concepts. It was fun to jump into someone else’s kitchen and throw together some food, and it all turned out so well that I figured I should share our results.

The origin of hamburgers is greatly disputed, but most sources point to the bread-and-burger invention being of American origin, and showing up in the late 19th century. A connection to the German port city of Hamburg is a little hard to find, but it turns out that ground beef steaks were common in Hamburg in the mid 1800s, which were brought to the city by Russians. They were served raw. Some years later, New York City became a common destination for travelers from Hamburg, and local German immigrants started selling the raw ground beef steaks, called Hamburg steaks, to visiting German tourists – who were otherwise known as “Hamburgers” (in the same sense that someone from New York is a “New Yorker”). Sometime down the line, the “Hamburger sandwich” was born, and the rest is history.

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I’m pretty sure that cheeseburgers are mankind’s greatest invention. I often imagine that if I had a time machine, the first thing I would do is travel to the Middle Ages with a perfectly-made burger and give it to a pauper and blow his mind. You think I’m joking, but I’m not. Cheeseburgers (with the bun) are probably the food I crave most, even after my palate shifted a few months ago. And truth be told, I still miss the fluffy/greasy bun associated with burgers, but I’ve come to appreciate bunless burgers as well.

I worked at a burger-centric restaurant for a couple years, and learned a couple tricks along the way. Here’s how I make a perfect cheeseburger.

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