We’re paying homage to the origins of the American hamburger at our next pop up restaurant (number 11) as we prepare spot-on copies of the four best claimants to being the inventor of the archetype. eventbrite http://burgerproject.eventbrite.com/
Charlie Nagreen was only 15 years old when he invented the hamburger. And he did so from an ox-drawn food cart in Seymour, Wisconsin.
It’s 1885, and Nagreen is hard at work selling meatballs at the Outagamie County Fair. Trouble is, a lot of folks don’t like the inconvenience of walking and eating the cumbersome food stuffs, so Nagreen’s business is suffering. In a eureka moment, young Charlie smashes the meatballs and jams them between 2 pieces of bread to form a crude sandwich. Thus was born the hamburger.
“Hamburger, hamburger, hamburger hot,” he’d holler at potential customers. “With an onion in the middle and a pickle on top. Makes your lips go flippity-flop. Come on in, try one order. Fried in butter, listen to it sputter.”
Mr. Nagreen never opened a brick and mortar restaurant, but he did continue to vend his hamburger creation at county fairs til his death in 1951.
Much historical research has been put into this project. As near as we can tell this is how the good folks of rural Wisconsin were eating their burgers during Nagreen’s historical run.
Cooking implement: cast iron pan
Cooking medium: cow’s butter
Topping: sweet onion, dill pickle
Bread: White, loaf bread
In keeping with Mr Nagreen’s original formula this hamburger is a double patty with an onion in the middle
Please respect the traditions of Charlie Nagreen, and eat this burger the way he intended.
Pair with an order of hand-cut french fries or an order of hand-cut onion rings.
Part 1 of this series: Kaelin’s est 1934 http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/2013/4/30/Origins-Of-The-American-Hamburger-Part-1-Kaelins-Of-Louisville-Kentucky
and yes, Texas has a strong claim as to being the originator of the form….feature coming.