“Cheeseburger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger!” shouted John Belushi’s character from The Olympia Restaurant on “Saturday Night Live” years ago.
He probably didn’t realize that years later a day would be dedicated to this yummy food. Friday, September 18 is National Cheeseburger Day.
Several people from several countries lay claim to inventing the hamburger. Ironically those in Hamburg, Germany, have the strongest attachment to the meat patty. The cheeseburger showed up in the mid-1920s when a chef named Lionel Sternberger added a slice of cheese to the classic meat plus two pieces of bread. The trademark for the name “cheeseburger” was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver.
Traditionally, the meat of the hamburger and cheeseburger was ground beef. However, in recent years as some of us have become more health conscious, we have switched to extremely lean beef, buffalo/bison, or turkey. Vegetarians still longing for that burger fix have chosen a variety of beans and oats or other grains and peppers mix for their patty.
The buns started with two slices of sandwich bread and have morphed way beyond simple. Burgercravings.com says that “a bun must complement, not overwhelm, the patty. Choose a bun that’s too dense or too chewy and people won’t bite into their burgers. A bun that’s too delicate will get soggy and in turn your burger will be a flop.” Various options are ciabatta, French bread ,or focaccia buns. The simple bun can be whole-wheat, sesame-seed, or even a Kaiser roll. For those of us watching our carb intake, we can go bun-less.
Traditionally, cheeseburgers are often stacked with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise and ketchup. Beyond these, the list can be endless. Think of the variety of cheeses and you would have to eat one cheeseburger every day to use up all the cheeses. Read through the list of each condiment and think of the endless options. Bacon has become a staple ingredient in many foods and the cheeseburger is right in the top choices.
Which ones have you tried? What are your favorites? Share them here.
Restaurants have popped up all over town whose primary menu item is the cheeseburger. Eateries that focus on other foods have the simple burger and fries on their menus as well. Wherever you get your burger—or if you choose to cook your own—celebrate National Cheeseburger Day in style.