Where the Hamburger was born, the Hamburg-style steak

No doubt the hamburger is the most famous sandwich in the world. Proposed in hundreds of revisions and variations, it is however always iconic and recognizable. Yet, reconstructing the history of its origins and establishing with certainty where thehamburger or who invented it, is as complicated as it is presumptuous. On the contrary, very interesting and by no means obvious hypotheses are known about the origins of the dish. Let’s explore them better.

Where the Hamburger was born

Although the modern hamburger is considered by many to be a US dishand in a certain sense a pop icon of food and culture American mass culture, its origins are by no means obvious. On the contrary, they are rather confusing and questionable.

The firmest and most shared hypothesis attributes the birthplace of the meat sandwich to Old World and precisely in Hamburg, the city of Germania. Thanks to the assonance of the name with that of the city, it would seem plausible that the word hamburger is a translation of hamburgersthat is to say inhabitants of Hamburg.

The ancestor of the modern hamburger is said to have arrived on American shores only in the 1800s, when German immigrants crossed the ocean to settle in America. Arrived in the New World on the fleet of Hamburger Linesoon this name was used to indicate the good food they brought with them, that is Hamburg-style beef.

From Russia to America, the sandwich that brings everyone together

Perhaps it might surprise you to know that the hamburger, the American sandwich par excellence, actually shares its birthplace in part with an atavistic antagonist, the homeland Russia.

In fact, reconstruction wants German immigrants to have come into contact with this dish because of the Russian Tatarsaround 1500. Russians who in turn had learned to eat the “steak tartare” only after the invasion by the Secretary driven by Khubilai Khannephew of Genghis.

The Venetian explorer Marco Polo (in the service of Genghis Khan for over 15 years) wrote in Il Milione: “The Mongol empire exports uses and customs to the world, the Russians appreciate and make them the “tartare”.

Now, during the domination of the Russians in the territories of present-day Ukraine and Crimea, many sought refuge in Germany, for example Hamburga lively port city, even nicknamed in those days “the Russian port”. Right here, around 1600, the Russians made this dish known to the Germans and it soon took off with the migrants. And it soon became the food of sailors.

In the New Continent, meat cooked in the Hamburg style will not only be appreciated, but also revisited and modernized until it becomes the modern hamburger, as we understand it today.

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