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I Need Hamburger Helpers


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Since I already had the Oxford Companion to food out for another discussion, here's a snippet of what Davidson had to say:

"It seems that 'Hamburg steak' (in a Boston newspaper in 1884) preceeded the snappier 'Hamburger'; and that the St Louis World Fair of 1904 was a significant launching pad for the hamburger in a bun as we know it, although it's growth to the status of a global food item required another four or five decades of the 20th century for completion."

Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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The "gladly pay you Tuesday..." quote originated with Wimpy, a supporting character in the Popeye cartoon series. (Popeye himself isn't much help here, for he ate spinach.)

I believe that there is (was?) a hamburger stand chain in the UK bearing this character's name.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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The "gladly pay you Tuesday..." quote originated with Wimpy, a supporting character in the Popeye cartoon series.  (Popeye himself isn't much help here, for he ate spinach.)

I believe that there is (was?) a hamburger stand chain in the UK bearing this character's name.

There was until recently, but I wouldn't have dignified the thing they served with the name hamburger. They were truly awful.

It used to be (before MacDonald's, Burger King et al) that the best place to get a hamburger in England was the appropriately named "The Great American Disaster" ! !

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I keep seeing and hearing about two places. One is a guy with this vertical victorian looking grill and the other is that ball hamburger that is steamed under a cone. Also I was told there was a famous or was famous hamburger place near central park that had a guy that put on a show with the steam cones...anyone know???

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Oh, yeah:

While you're researching, don't forget to take in the history of White Castle, the first chain of hamburger stands in the United States, established in 1921 in Wichita, Kan.

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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Oh, yeah:

While you're researching, don't forget to take in the history of White Castle, the first chain of hamburger stands in the United States, established in 1921 in Wichita, Kan.

and the long standing history of people all crunked out stopping for sliders after the bar scene.

That is classic.

---------------------------------------

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Regarding the request for recipes, I found Ina Garten's suggestion to insert a pat of butter into the middle of the burger prior to cooking to be odd, at first. But after serving such burgers to unsuspecting guests and receiving rave reviews, I always put a pat of butter inside (I just make sure that no one is watching when I do it). :wink:

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I found out some entertaining stuff when I did a little research into the history of Salisbury steak, the hamburger's (supposedly) dressier relative. Turns out it got that name from a 19th-century food-faddist physician by the name of Dr. James Salisbury, who believed that vegetables and starches were bad for you, and instead advocated a diet of "the muscle pulp of lean beef made into cakes and broiled," three times a day. Sounds appetizing when put that way, no? :laugh:Here's a link with more info.

Meanwhile, this Wikipedia article confirms my suspicion that most people these days use the terms "Salisbury steak" and "hamburger steak" more-or-less interchangeably, and that the only real differences between a hamburger per se and a hamburger/Salisbury steak is that the former is on a bun and surrounded with informal connotations, and the latter is on a plate topped with gravy with a side of (alleged) upscale pretentions. Though the exemplars of Salisbury steaks I endured through many elementary school hot lunches certainly undermines any of those pretentions. :biggrin:

Oh, and the tail end of the above-cited Wikipedia article mentions several regional variants that I think would be worth you checking into -- including the Japanese take on hamburger steak, and the legendary Hawaiian plate lunch favorite known as the loco moco.

By the way, somebody mentioned a vertical hamburger grill in a previous post ... the most legendary grill of that sort is arguably the one at Louis' Lunch, a venerable old-school diner in New Haven Connecticut which lays claim to producing the "original hamburger." (Yes, I know that claim is way disputed. I'm just the messenger here, folks!). Here's Louis' Lunch's home page ... wow, that was a bonanza of apostrophes in there, wasn't it? :laugh:

Edited to add -- oh wait, that was you the original poster who asked about the vertical hamburger grill! Well ... now you know. :wink:

Edited by mizducky (log)
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I found out some entertaining stuff when I did a little research into the history of Salisbury steak, the hamburger's (supposedly) dressier relative. Turns out it got that name from a 19th-century food-faddist physician by the name of Dr. James Salisbury, who believed that vegetables and starches were bad for you, and instead advocated a diet of "the muscle pulp of lean beef made into cakes and broiled," three times a day.Here's a link with more info.

You sure Dr. Salisbury wasn't reincarnated as Dr. Robert Atkins?

Sandy Smith, Exile on Oxford Circle, Philadelphia

"95% of success in life is showing up." --Woody Allen

My foodblogs: 1 | 2 | 3

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The "gladly pay you Tuesday..." quote originated with Wimpy, a supporting character in the Popeye cartoon series.  (Popeye himself isn't much help here, for he ate spinach.)

I believe that there is (was?) a hamburger stand chain in the UK bearing this character's name.

There was until recently, but I wouldn't have dignified the thing they served with the name hamburger. They were truly awful.

The Wimpy burgers were truly terrible. I remember wanting so badly to try one when we were in England - 1976. The ones we had were made of pork. I wonder if they used old discarded cardboard as in the "bao story in China", 'cos that's exactly what they tasted like! Didn't see any Wimpy restaurants this spring when we visited England.

On the Canadian prairies, we had the "nip". That's what they were called in the 50s, 60s. Now they are called burgers with various names, except for Salisbury House restaurants. They are still called Nips, but not as good as they used to be - at least in my memory.

Is /Was "nip"a common term in other parts of Canada and USA? Perhaps Pam R would know if Salisbury House is only on the prairies. Burton Cummings of the Guess Who fame has lent his name and finances to one of the newer restaurants in Winnipeg.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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... stories, history, ... on hamburgers...

Greetings from Tokyo, perhaps you would be interested in hamburger info from the Japanese front...

By all reports the earliest hamburger store in Japan seems to be "The Hamburger Inn", which was opened in 1950 by a Maryland native, Johnny Wetzstein, in Iikura-katamachi. In 1964 it moved to Roppongi, and became a local institution with the foreign and local community alike. In 2005 however, the owner decided to close the restaurant, and thus it came under the new management of a local identity, Mr Turuhisa Oikawa, who (I understand) closed shop last year, only to reopen in a new location on the main Roppongi-Shibuya Street this year.

As to hamburger chains... MOS Burger, Lotteria, and Freshness Burger are amongst the largest of the Japanese chains. A host of western chains - such as Wendy's and McDonald's are well established. Burger King, which withdrew from the Japanese market in 2001 after poor returns and a price war with McDonald's, are back as of this year (operated under licence by Lotte and Revamp Corp.) with 100 stores planned over the next 5 years.

Trivia: McDonald's signage is a dirty reddish-brown colour in Kyoto, as the local government considered their traditional fire-engine red colour aesthetically out-of-place!

On the weird and wonderful front, you can read THIS ARTICLE about the Japanese worm burger of the 1960's - 1970's.

The Japanese version of the humble hamburger is the Hamburg - similar to Salisbury Steaks - served in a brown gravy without bread, and is popular in restaurants and with home cooks. A variety of other Japanese specialties exist, such as whale burgers (northern Japan), katsu burgers and rice burgers!

Edited - Correction and extra info!

Edited by I8U8 (log)

Regards,

Peter

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