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Where Did The Hamburger Get Its Name?

Hey, brainiacs.

I'm Cristen Conger from Stuff Mom Never Told You here

to tell you about where the word "hamburger" came from.

Because guess what, y'all?

It don't got no ham in it.

Now the short answer is that hamburgers

came from Hamburg, Germany.

There was a little guy named Hans hanging out one day

and he had some meat in the fridge and some spices.

And he was super hungry, and so he

decided to put it all together and make

a hamburger, or a Hansburger, as he liked to call it.

Unfortunately, that is not actually

where hamburgers came from.

But I like to think of a man on a mountain eating a hamburger

way back in the day.

No, but there is something about Germans

and loving barbecue foods.

Because not only is Germany the home of hamburgers,

it is also the home of hot dogs.

Because hot dogs were invented in Frankfurt,

Germany, aka, frankfurters-- get it?

But instead of old Hans on the side of his mountain making

ye olde hamburger, it actually goes back to the Tartars,

a nomadic people who invaded Central Asia and Eastern Europe

in the Middle Ages.

And y'all, the Tartars were really intense about

their beef.

They ate it raw, hence the name "steak tartar."

And according to one account, they tenderized their beef

by putting it between the saddle and the horse as they rode.

This is stuff that's straight out of Game of Thrones.

George R. R. Martin, take note.

You should put that in your next book.

Now the Tartars then introduced the food to Germany.

And then the Germans took the beef,

spiced it up, and then fried or broiled it,

and thus we have the Hamburg steak.

Now when German immigrants then came over to the United States,

they brought their Hamburg steaks with them,

along with some clothes and pictures of loved ones.

Now it showed up on New York City restaurant menus

in the 1880s, and in no time at all,

hamburgers became a sensation as sandwiches at the 1904 World's

Fair in Saint Louis.

And now, for all of you people who get cravings for hamburgers

after you smoke something that is not legal-- in 1921,

White Castle was founded in Wichita, Kansas, which

is the oldest chain of hamburger restaurants.

Now, the hamburger's popularity exploded in the United States

after World War II when burgers became the main menu

item at drive-in restaurants, spawned by a growing

number of cars in the United States.

Because what's better than a drive-in date

than the smell of greasy meat in a car

mixing with pheromones and blooming passions?

Now, speaking of fast food chains,

McDonald's started also as a hamburger stand

in San Bernardino, California, and spread the hamburger

around the world, for better or worse for our bodies.

The world's largest restaurant chain,

McDonald's, has more than 26,000 restaurants in 119 countries,

and has served billions and billions of hamburgers.

But what I would like to see is the return

of the Tartar method of beef tenderizing by putting it

between a saddle and a horse.

Because while I would not want to eat that,

it sounds pretty cool.

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