22 de julio de 2011


The term hamburger originally derives from Hamburg, Germany's second largest city, from where many emigrated to America. Hamburger can be a descriptive noun in German, referring to someone or something from Hamburg. 

Similarly, frankfurter and wiener, names for other meat-based foods, are also used in German as descriptive nouns for people and  for things from the cities of Frankfurt and Wien (Vienna), respectively.

The hamburger most likely first appeared in the 19th or early 20th centuries. The modern hamburger was a product of the culinary needs of a society that was rapidly changing due to industrialization, and therefore, people had less time to prepare as well as to consume meals. 

Americans contend that they were the first to combine two slices of bread and a steak of ground beef into a "hamburger sandwich". Part of the controversy over the origin of the hamburger is because the two basic ingredients, bread and beef, were prepared and consumed separately for many years before their combination. Shortly after its creation, the hamburger was prepared with all of the now typically characteristic trimmings, including onions, lettuce, and sliced pickles.

The exact origin of the hamburger is unknown and may never be known with any certainty. Most historians believe that it was invented by a cook who placed a Hamburg steak between two slices of bread. It is difficult to determine who first had the idea for the hamburger, because there is no written record about its creation, as only verbal descriptions and direct statements to the local press exist to support the various claims of invention.

However, all claims made by the potential inventors of the hamburger occurred between 1885 and 1904, focusing all attention of its creation onto these two decades. Despite the various stories about the origins of the hamburger, there are common elements in all of the narratives, most notably that the hamburger was born as a food associated with major events such as amusement parks, fairs, conferences, and festivals. All the hypotheses also share the presence of street vendors.

One of the possible fathers of the hamburger is Charlie Nagreen (1870–1951) of Seymour, Wisconsin, who at the age of 15 sold Hamburg steaks from a street stall at the annual Outagamie County Fair. Nagreen said he began by selling Hamburg steaks, but these did not have much success because people wanted to freely move around the festival without the need to eat them at his stand. In response to this, in 1885 Nagreen decided to flatten the hamburger steak and insert it between two slices of bread, so that the public could move freely from booth to booth while eating his sandwich, an innovation that was well received by his customers.This became known as the "Hamburger Charlie", and Nagreen's creation was sold at the festival until his death in 1951. To this day, his accomplishment is celebrated annually with a "Burger Fest" in his honor in his hometown of Seymour.

1. ¿Cuándo surgieron las primeras hamburguesas?
2. ¿Quién o quiénes se supone "inventaron" las hamburguesas?
2. ¿Por qué son tan populares?
3. Busca en el diccionario el significado de estas palabras (Pincha sobre ellas): pickles, stall, stand, booth, hometown.

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