You know they’re beefy, cheesy, juicy, and pretty much the most perfect food of all time. So what don’t you know about them? Turns out, quite a bit. Let’s celebrate National Cheeseburger Day the right way with some delicious facts.
A Guy Named Lionel Sternberger May Have Invented the Cheeseburger
One story says that chef Lionel Sternberger in Pasadena, Cali slapped a piece of cheese on a burger at the request of a homeless guy he was feeding, then put it on his menu. The man had the perfect name for just such a task.
Many Have Claimed to Invent the Hamburger
The cheeseburger’s somewhat-less-amazing-but-still-definitely-amazing predecessor, the hamburger was invented by… Well, it’s not totally clear who invented it, because there are so many who have claimed it. However, The Library of Congress officially declares that Louis Lassen of Louis’ Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut sold the first hamburger in the U.S. in 1900. You can still go there today and get a burger made in the same oven they’ve been using all these years.
Cheeseburger’s Can Get Ludicrously Fancy
Cheeseburgers don’t have to be just bun, beef and American cheese; there are plenty of places to drop heavy dough on a very fancy version of the beloved sandwich. For example: Le Burger Extravagant at Serendipity 3 in NYC is made of white truffle butter Wagyu (Kobe) beef topped with black truffles and a fried quail egg ($295); and the Fleur Burger 5000 from Fleur Restaurant in Vegas is also made with Wagyu beef, and has foie gras and shaved truffles ($70).
People Don’t Just Love Cheeseburgers…
Apparently they live on them too. Hamburgers and cheeseburgers are said to comprise about 71% of beef served up in commercial restaurants. This is 60% of all sandwiches sold and 71% of all beef sold in restaurants.
McDonald’s Burgers Are Never, Ever Juicy
How do we know this? Well, according to Serious Eats, the reason that McDonald’s burgers never rot is because they have extremely low moisture, so any further dehydration just turns it into good old, non-perishable beef jerky.
The U.S. Government Tried to Rename Burgers
During the First World War, our dumbass gov’mint had the audacity to try and rename hamburgers as “Liberty Sandwiches” to promote patriotism and avoid using its original Germanic name. Sure, this is pre-cheeseburger territory, but can anyone imagine this horrifying reality if things had gone a different way?
Burger King is Out of Its Mind
Back in 2008, Burger King put out burger-scented body spray and cologne. It was dubbed “Flame.” Smart marketing move for BK, not-so-smart hygiene move for anyone who bought it.
There are Tons of Regional Varieties
When you visit other parts of the U.S., you should try their cheeseburgers. New Mexico is known for their green chile cheeseburgers, the Juicy Lucy is Minneapolis, Minnesota’s burger that has molten-hot cheese cooked right inside the meat patty, the pastrami cheeseburger is a popular Utah treat, and San Antonio, Texas has their own amazing creation topped with Cheez Whiz, refried beans, Fritos and onions…just to name a few.
The Biggest Cheeseburger Ever Made Clocked in at 2,014 Pounds
It was cooked by a Minnesota casino in 2012. It took a special oven, a crane and a special bun that had to be baked for an unbelievable 7 hours to make it. It was given to guests for free, and all was well with the world.
A Tiny Lady Once Ate a 9 Pound Burger in 27 Minutes
Tiny little 5-foot-tall South Korean woman, Sonya Thomas (known as “The Black Widow” of competitive eating) went toe-to-toe with a 9-pound cheeseburger and finished it in less than a half hour. Unfreakingreal.
Cheeseburger image by Shutterstock