A Hamburger (also called a beef burger, hamburger
sandwich, burger, hamburg, cheeseburger) is a
sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of
ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced
bun. Hamburgers are often served with lettuce,
bacon, tomato, onion, pickles, cheese and condiments
such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, relish, and
The term "burger" can also be applied to the meat
patty on its own, especially in the UK where the
term "patty" is rarely used. The term may be
prefixed with the type of meat used, as in "turkey
The hamburger is named after Hamburg, Germany.
The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg,
Germany's second largest city. In High German, Burg
means "fortified settlement" or "fortified refuge"
and is a widespread component of place names.
Hamburger in German is the demonym of Hamburg,
similar to frankfurter and wiener, names for other
meat-based foods and demonyms of the cities of
Frankfurt and Vienna (Wien), respectively.
The term "burger", a back-formation, is associated
with many different types of sandwiches, similar to
a (ground meat) hamburger, but made of different
meats such as buffalo in the buffalo burger,
venison, kangaroo, turkey, elk, lamb or fish like
salmon in the salmon burger, but even with meatless
sandwiches as is the case of the veggie burger.
There have been many claims about the origin of the
hamburger. The earliest known report in a newspaper
is from July 5, 1896, when the Chicago Daily Tribune
made a highly specific claim regarding a "hamburger
sandwich" in an article about a "Sandwich Car": "A
distinguished favorite, only five cents, is
Hamburger steak sandwich, the meat for which is kept
ready in small patties and 'cooked while you wait'
on the gasoline range."] According to Congresswoman
Rosa DeLauro, the hamburger, a ground meat patty
between two slices of bread, was first created in
America in 1900 by Louis Lassen, a Danish immigrant,
owner of Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Connecticut.
There have been rival claims by Charlie Nagreen,
Frank and Charles Menches, Oscar Weber Bilby, and
Fletcher David. White Castle traces the origin of
the hamburger to Hamburg, Germany with its invention
by Otto Kuase. However, it gained national
recognition at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair when
the New York Tribune referred to the hamburger as
"the innovation of a food vendor on the pike". No
conclusive argument has ever ended the dispute over
invention. An article from ABC News sums up: "One
problem is that there is little written history.
Another issue is that the spread of the burger
happened largely at the World's Fair, from tiny
vendors that came and went in an instant. And it is
entirely possible that more than one person came up
with the idea at the same time in different parts of