Brief History of the Hamburger
The hamburger, in some form or another has appeared throughout history since the early 4th century. Travelling from Europe across the Atlantic, the hamburger rose to fame in the USA emerging as an icon in the culinary world.
An ancient collection of recipes accredit the first minced meat preparation to the 4th century; others believe it was the Mongols that spread the tradition in the 13th century when warriors would stash raw meat under their saddles to soften it and cook it. It spread across Europe, with Moscow adopting a raw version – known today as steak tartare – by the end of the century.
Russians brought the recipe to the Germans in the 17th century, arriving via the port of Hamburg. By 1747, the Hamburg sausage appeared for the first time in a cookbook, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy and in the early 1800s the Hamburg steak was included in the Oxford English dictionary.
The Hamburg steak was brought to the US by German immigrants fleeing political revolutions.
By 1873 it appeared for the first time on a menu at Delmonico’s in New York City (previously – New Amsterdam, watch my posts on this). After developing a special bun for the hamburger in 1916, Walter Anderson and Edgar Ingram opened White Castle, the world’s first burger chain in Kansas in 1921. In 1928 the first burger “with cheese” appeared on a menu at O’Dell’s Diner in Los Angeles and in 1935 the word “cheeseburger” was coined by Denver’s Humpty Dumpty drive-in.
In 1940 the iconic McDonald’s Bar-B-Que opened in San Bernardino , California; in 1948 brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald turned the focus to their 15-cent hamburger. Led by McDonald’s American-style franchised fast food spread globally. Even restaurant chefs were following suit: in the 1950s the first gourmet burger was featured at New York’s 21 Club. McDonald’s released its famous Big Mac in 1968. By the 2000s, America had become a burger-obsessed nation; in 2001burgers made up 71% of all beef served in commercial restaurants. Today the US alone eats more than 40 billion burgers annually.
Jungle juice is the name given to an improvised mix of liquor that is usually served for group consumption. There are countless recipes and even websites devoted solely to jungle juice. The term has also been used for similar less-than-reputable alcoholic concoctions.
Jungle Juice was born out of the necessity to keep soberness at bay by soldiers located in jungles abroad, specifically US soldiers stationed in the Southwest Pacific during WWII. The United States did not provide its soldiers with “booze”, so being Americans they channelled their industriousness and made their own hooch.
They fermented anything sugar-based they could get their hands on and the results was often a swampy-looking 100-proof elixir of rum punch that was sure to get you good and smashed. They mixed their swamp water with whatever they could find, often lemonade and thus the birth of American go-to party beverage was born – Jungle Juice. This is also the basis for typical student trashcan juice.