Interesting facts about Burgers

When you hear the word ‘Burgers,’ what comes to mind? Perhaps something delicious, juicy, and filled with just the right amount of cheese. Maybe something fresh off an open grill. Maybe it’s happier summer days lined up at a street-side food cart or a five-star restaurant. Whatever your thoughts are about a simple burger, you can bet that there is a lot more to them than we are aware of.

1. The Word ‘Burger’ is derived from ‘Hamburger,’ which has originated from the German town called ‘Hamburg.’

According to a theory, sailors from Germany bought minced beef to the US in the 19th century. These sailors came to the US from the seaport town of Germany called Hamburg. They used to combine this minced beef with onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

Originally, during the Industrial Revolution, factory workers were eating these Hamburger steaks made famous by the incoming German immigrants to New York and Chicago. As it was difficult to eat by the factory workers while standing, a cook decided to sandwich the meat between two pieces of break- creating the Hamburger. By the 20th century, it was shortened to Burger and increased tremendously in popularity. [1]

2. Burgers gained massive popularity at the St Louis World’s Fair in 1904

The World’s Fair or The Louisiana Purchase Exposition showcased hundreds of food items, including hamburgers. 

The World’s Fair definitely did not invent the Hamburger or other famous American foods like Ice-Cream, but it was known to increase their popularity that would change American cuisine and food culture forever. [2]

3. You won’t guess how many burgers Americans eat in a year!

50 billion burgers are eaten in the US in a year, a country with a population of 329.5 million. This averages to 3 burgers a week per person.

In the US, 40% of all sandwiches sold are burgers. According to McDonald’s, they sell an average of 75 burgers per second in a day alone.

The meat industry thus takes up more land than the agricultural industry in the US by 8 times as massive amounts of feed for cattle has to be grown. [3]

4. 71% of all beef consumed in restaurants in the US is done in the form of burgers

Burgers are the most common beef dish in the US. It is partially because they’re cheap. Although their mouth-watering taste definitely has a part to play! 

Other than that, they are easily made and readily available in the US, which is another reason beef burgers are so popular. [4]

5. The burger is claimed to be invented in New Haven, Connecticut

Louis Lassen, the founder of the food chain Louis’ Lunch, was the first to sell hamburgers in the US in New Haven, Connecticut. The theory goes that he used to sell steak sandwiches in 1895 to local factory workers. He didn’t like wasting the left-over meat from the steaks, so he decided to sell it by putting it between two pieces of bread. [5]

6. 60% of all sandwiches sold globally are burgers

It might not come as a surprise that burgers are the most popular of all sandwiches sold worldwide. And also not surprising is that McDonald’s has the most burger sales globally. 

New burger chains are also making their way in and rising in popularity rapidly. [6]

7. One of the most expensive burgers ever cost $5000.

The FleurBurger 5000 costs a whopping $5000 and can be found in Las Vegas. What makes it so expensive are the ingredients used in its recipe, including Kobe beef, the rare black truffles, and seared foie gras. 

The bottle of 1995 Chateau Petrus from Bordeaux, served with the burger, also adds significantly to its price. It is considered one of the most prized wines – and with the FleurBurger – it makes for a truly luxurious experience. [7]

8. Hamburgers had their name changed in WW1

During the war with Germany, American Soldiers decided to call the Hamburgers “Liberty Sandwiches.” It was because Hamburgers sounded too German, and they wanted to sound more patriotic. [8]

9. There is a ‘Hamburger Hall of Fame’ to Celebrate the history of hamburgers

In Seymour, Wisconsin, the hamburger Hall of Fame celebrates the history of hamburgers with an annual burger event every year which includes a massive parade and even a hamburger eating contest! 

It was made in commemoration of Hamburger Charlie, who is claimed to have invented the Hamburger. The town is also called the ‘Home of the Hamburger.’ [9]

10. McDonald’s has sold more than 300 billion burgers up till now

McDonald’s takes home over $21.08 billion in revenue, which is even greater than many countries. This alone puts the popularity of burgers worldwide in a clearer perspective. McDonald’s has chains in 119 countries and continues to expand further globally.

McDonald’s is also known to feed 68 million people every day, which is about 1% of the world’s population! [10]

11. The world’s largest Hamburger weighed 3,591 pounds

In 1982, the world’s largest Hamburger was made during the event hosted by Rutland, North Dakota called ‘’The Grand Daddy of All Celebrations’’. About 8000-10,000 people came to taste it, and it got itself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The actual grill used to cook the burger still stays at the place as a monument for the event. [11]

12. Burgers eaten by Americans alone can encircle the Earth 32 times

Americans eat around 50 billion burgers a year. If someone were to arrange these burgers in a straight line, it would stretch to about 800,000 miles. That’s more distance than one needs to travel around the Earth 32 times. Within this distance, one can travel to the moon and back (quite literally)! [12]

13. White Castle was the first-ever fast-food restaurant, and it sold a burger for just 5 cents.

Founded by Billy Ingram and Walter Anderson in 1921, this chain was the first of its kind in the US in Wichita, Kansas. It is known as the inventor of the slider, a miniature hamburger. It initially sold just these small hamburgers, for only 5 cents each, along with soft drinks and coffee. 

At that time, hamburgers were considered unhealthy in the US, so Billy and Anderson paid extra care into making the restaurant look hygienic and safe.

The Restaurant still stands and has added new items to its menu. [13]

14. Danny’s Beer Barrel Club once sold a 123-pound burger

Located in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, Danny’s Beer Barrel Club now holds the title of “World’s Largest Commercially Available Hamburger.” It sold the 123-pound burger in 2007.

The 123-pound burger had an 80-pound ground beef patty, a hundred and sixty slices of cheese, along with a pound of ketchup, lettuce, mustard, and mayonnaise each, wrapped up in a 30-pound bun. [14]

15. The world’s most caloric burger has 9,982 calories in it

Served in the Heart Attack Grill, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, this burger had its name in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most caloric burger.

‘The Quadruple Bypass Burger,’ named after the Quadruple Bypass Surgery, is definitely as unhealthy as its name sounds. It contains 4 half-pound beef patties, eight slices of American cheese, twenty strips of bacon, an entire tomato, and half an onion packed in a thick bun coated with lard.

If it wasn’t enough, the onions are caramelized, and it has large amounts of mustard, mayonnaise, and ketchup added as well. That sure is one unhealthy way to spend $20.25! [15]

16. Hexane, an air pollutant, makes veggie burgers pretty unhealthy

Veggie burgers often contain soy, which is made up of hexane. Hexane is a dangerous air pollutant and is a by-product released when gasoline is refined. 

It is because manufacturers of artificial meat submerge soybeans in hexane. It is done to please health-conscious buyers as it separates oil and proteins. Thus, all non-organic soy burgers have trace amounts of hexane in them. [16]

17. Undercooking helps advertisers make burgers look fresh in commercials and print ads

Have you ever wondered why fast food looks so much better in advertisements than in real life? It is because they are always undercooked. This doesn’t only make the burgers look fresher but also taller and plumper.

It doesn’t stop at this, though! In advertisements, pins are used to fix the toppings, and wax is added to make ketchup/mayo look fresh. The steam, the juiciness, none of those are real either. [17]

18. Most people prefer golden-brown potatoes as the side dish with burgers

Based on a survey done in 2013, 63% of people like to have golden-brown potatoes in any form as their side dish to burgers. Next to it are onion rings with 16% votes.

19. Cheddar cheese is, by far, the most popular cheese with burgers

It is no surprise that this melty, moist cheese is the favorite of most burger-lovers. The bold taste as the cheese melts in your mouth is definitely one of the best parts of eating a burger. 

Whether you prefer the fresher white cheddar or stronger and older yellow cheddar, you can’t deny that cheddar cheese brings a special flavor to all burgers. [18]

20. Burger King is called something totally different in Australia

If you go to Australia and don’t find a Burger King franchise, don’t be disappointed! There is Burger King in Australia, except it is called Hungry Jack’s.

Here’s why Australia is the only country in the world where the Burger King Joint is called Hungry Jacks’. In 1971, when they decided to launch the Joint in Australia, they found out that there was already a restaurant called Burger King there. 

The two chains were in a 40-year stand-off about who gets to keep the name ‘Burger King.’ Both were doing well in business and increasing in competition and popularity. Eventually, when Hungry Jack’s did win the rights to the name, they decided to not change it to Burger King because of how significant the name had become locally! [19]

Conclusion

Whether you love them or hate them, burgers are one of the most popular foods around. There are many, many reasons to love them, as well as just as many reasons to hate them. Wherever you stand on this all-American dish, there are plenty of fun facts about burgers that will keep you interested for a long time.

References

  1. https://parade.com/61481/toriavey/where-did-hamburgers-originate/
  2. https://www.seriouseats.com/food-history-1904-worlds-fair-st-louis
  3. https://www.reference.com/world-view/many-hamburgers-americans-eat-year-f9e753c2141e2010
  4. https://www.benchmarkeatery.com/love-affair-with-hamburgers
  5. https://www.americaslibrary.gov/es/ct/es_ct_burger_1.html
  6. https://www.businessinsider.com/25-giant-companies-that-earn-more-than-entire-countries-2018-7#mcdonalds-revenue-was-greater-than-new-guineas-gdp-7
  7. https://www.insider.com/most-expensive-burger-in-the-world-costs-staggering-5000-2019-8#:~:text=The%20world’s%20most%20expensive%20burger,Mandalay%20Bay%20Resort%20and%20Casino.
  8. https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/his1005spring2011/tag/liberty-sandwich/
  9. https://www.eatdrinkmadison.com/blog/?p=334
  10. https://www.businessinsider.com/19-facts-about-mcdonalds-that-will-blow-your-mind-2012-4#mcdonalds-feeds-68-million-people-per-day-thats-about-1-percent-of-the-worlds-population-3
  11. https://rutlandnd.com/world-s-largest-hamburger#:~:text=In%201982%20Rutland%20hosted%20the,the%20tasty%203%2C591%20pound%20burger.
  12. https://vinepair.com/cocktail-chatter/how-many-burgers-americans-eat-per-year/
  13. https://www.insider.com/fast-food-menus-original-photos#white-castle-opened-in-1921-and-sold-a-five-cent-square-hamburger-that-became-known-as-the-slider-1
  14. https://www.nbcnews.com/id/wbna17402466
  15. https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/101473-most-calorific-burger-commercially-available#:~:text=Heart%20Attack%20Grill%20in%20Las,(195.95%20calories%20per%20ounce).
  16. https://eatdrinkbetter.com/articles/is-hexane-in-your-veggie-burger-what-is-hexane/
  17. https://www.rd.com/article/fast-food-in-commercials/#:~:text=Undercooked%20burgers%20look%20more%20plump,t%20stop%20with%20burgers%2C%20though.
  18. https://www.wisconsincheeseman.com/blog/cooking/best-cheeses-amazing-cheeseburger/
  19. https://www.cbc.ca/radio/undertheinfluence/why-it-s-hard-to-find-a-burger-king-in-australia-1.5469678#:~:text=Except%20you%20won’t%20find,Kings%20are%20called%20Hungry%20Jack’s.