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The Origin Of The Burger

Updated: Jun 28


Map showing the thread from Mesopotamia to America
History of the Burger

Summertime, the perfect season to go out, fire up the grill and make some juicy burgers. As you’re flipping the patties you can picture the perfect burger in your head. Your mouth starts to water and right before you put a slice of cheese on the patties you hesitate, and you wonder “How did we get here?”.


If you’ve been following along you might’ve seen our recent post, where we covered a brief history of the burger and the people who have championed change in the burger world, but we decided to do a little deep dive into the history of the hamburger and see exactly where it all began!


Ten thousand years ago in Mesopotamia, humans began domesticating cattle, setting the stage for culinary innovations to come. In ancient Rome, minced beef was paired with wine-soaked bread, creating an early version of a beloved dish. The Russians, inspired by Mongols who tenderized meat under their saddles, crafted steak tartare. As trade routes expanded across Europe, Russian steak tartare made its way to Hamburg, Germany. It is here, in Hamburg, where our deeper exploration begins.


In 1848, Germans started immigrating to America as there was a political revolution across the 39 states of the German Confederation, and with them they brought along their culture and most importantly their food. The people of Hamburg were widely known for their meat preparation and had made frikadelle or bulette, more popularly known as a ground beef meatball.


Meat grinders became more and more accessible in the later 1860’s, and with Dr. James H. Salisbury's suggestion that ground meat is good for digestion, physicians and cooks adopted the “Salisbury Steak”. The convenience of making ground beef and patties at home sparked experimentation all over the country.


This is where the exact, true origin of the Hamburger starts to get a bit uncertain. Multiple people from different areas started staking claim to being the original creator of the hamburger! We have hamburgers popping up all over New York, Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas and Connecticut. All having claims as far back as the 1880’s and by the 1890’s it has spread as far as California, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Nevada and Virginia. Who has the most eligible claim? Who gave the burger the world stage it so clearly belonged on? Let’s have a look at the candidates, and you can decide for yourself! 


Due to the lack of documentation to prove their claims,it seems there are two front runners! From Athens, Texas we have Fletcher Davis who brought the hamburger to the world at 1904’s St. Louis World Fair. It is also claimed that he had been flipping burger patties since the late 1880’s.


From New Haven, Connecticut we have Louis Lassen serving a customer that was in a hurry and needed something to eat on the go a patty between two pieces of toasted bread. American Fast Food was invented inside Louis Lunch at this moment in 1900.


Fletcher Davis has been credited as the creator of the hamburger since but it does seem that Louis Lunch might have been the first fast food restaurant to serve a hamburger. By 1924 we saw the rise of the Cheeseburger, and by the 60’s veggie patties started appearing. The burger is always evolving and there are always patty pioneers looking for the next big thing!


At Crossover Meats we’ve made it possible to cook a patty from frozen to on your plate in 12 minutes. We’ve made a sustainable patty that uses 50% less land and 40% less water to create. It’s fast, it’s efficient and on top of all that it’s still 100% real meat that makes it not only good for you but good for the environment. We might not have invented the hamburger but we do feel that our addition to history is important.


In 2024, slapping a burger on the grill is almost ridiculously easy. Although a lot of people enjoy putting together an artisanal patty with freshly ground meat, most of us don’t mind picking a patty from the shelf made by our favorite brands. With so many choices out there, how do you make a decision on which one to take home? Take into account what is important to you. Are you trying to reduce your carbon footprint? Or are you perhaps looking for a healthier alternative to serve your cheeseburger loving kids on busy weeknights? If you are looking for a sustainable, yet 100% real meat choice that is ready in 10-12 minutes and made from all natural ingredients, we suggest you give Crossover Blends™ a try! 


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