Why is a hamburger called a hamburger?
But just why is a hamburger called a hamburger?
Hamburgers are a very common type of food that we all love to eat now and again. In fact, 2% of Americans admit they love eating a hamburger for breakfast, whereas 75% unsurprisingly have it at dinner. Most commonly, hamburgers are made with beef meat, making it a delicacy that is not only tasty but also satiates your hunger.
With that in mind, since hamburgers are made with beef, there is no “ham” in them – so why is it called a hamburger when there’s no ham? Shouldn’t it be called a “beef burger”? In fact, why call it “burger” in the first place and not just a sandwich? No, you’re not crazy for having these questions going through your head; other people thought about that too.
The common belief is that the hamburger got its name from a dish named “Hamburg Steak” (or Hamburg Style Beef). They took the word “Hamburg,” and added the ending “-er” in order to turn it into a new noun – a specific food that came from Hamburg. Yes, German may sound complicated, but it’s actually that simple.
This “Hamburg Steak” appeared in the U.S. somewhere in the 19th century, the dish being nothing more than chopped meat that was eaten raw. In 1904, the dish was turned into the compilation that we know today, being served at the World’s Fair in St. Louis.
Nowadays, hamburgers are made from all kinds of meat, going from chicken to turkey and fish. So, it’s not just beef. There are even meatless hamburgers for those who prefer a plant-based diet. That being said, since everyone has been calling them hamburgers for so long, we can’t really seem to use another term for them. It’s the “Hamburg originating dish,” and at this point, we are stuck with the name.