A hamburger also called a burger, is ground beef. The term is variously applied to
- A ground beef patty, sometimes called a Hamburg steak, Salisbury steak, or Vienna steak,
- A sandwich consisting of a ground beef patty with a split Served in a bread roll, with various garnishes, or
- Ground beef is used as a base in many sauces, casseroles, terrines, and the like.
The origin of the hamburger is unknown, but the hamburger patty and sandwich were probably brought to America by German immigrants in the 19th century, where over the decades the hamburger came to be considered an ancient American food. The importance of hamburgers in American popular culture is reflected in the menu of backyard barbecues and fast food restaurants, and the proliferation of so-called hamburger stands and restaurants. Some chains, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, span the globe.
Ingredients of Hamburger
A hamburger is traditionally eaten as a sandwich between two halves of a round bun. Mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, other condiments, and pickled garnishes of lettuce, onion, tomato, and sliced cucumber make up traditional dressings. In a variation known as a cheeseburger, a slice of cheese is melted onto the patty. Patties are often baked or topped with chopped onions, spices, or breadcrumbs before baking.
According to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards, hamburger meat can be labeled as either “hamburger,” “ground beef,” or “ground beef.” It must be ground from fresh beef with no by-products or non-meat extenders, but the USDA allows the addition of beef fat and seasonings to meat labeled “hamburger.” Also, by law, commercially sold hamburgers and ground beef cannot contain more than 30 percent fat. Fifteen percent fat is considered the ideal ratio for the texture and flavor of the baked product.