Burger School

The Origins of the Hamburger

The history of the Hamburger is surrounded by myth and mystery.

“Hamburg Steak” was served in German restaurants in the US in the 1870’s. It was a ground meat patty, based on the Frikadellen and eaten with a knife and fork.

Frikadellen, as they’re called in Germany or Frikadeller, in Denmark, are a seasoned meat patty made from ground meat, onions, bread, egg and seasonings, what we would call a Rissole here in Australia.

Hamburgers became popular at the Worlds Fair in New York when an immigrant from Hamburg sold a hot Frikadelle (spiced meat patty) in a slice of bread so it could be held in the hand, nick-named Hamburg sandwich (Sandwich made by the man from Hamburg). It is believed this is the origin of what we now know as a Hamburger.

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