Burgers is a culinary masterpiece that has captured the hearts and appetites of millions around the world. From the classic American hamburger to unique regional variations, the diversity of burgers is truly remarkable. In this article, we will take a delectable journey through some of the most intriguing burger varieties from around the globe.
1. Elk Burger: Montana’s Delight
The United States of America is famous for many creative recipes consisting of a succulent meat patty placed inside of a bun, and the elk burger is Montana’s spin on the nation’s beloved dish. The state of Montana is widely known for its game meat, especially elk, and juicy elk burgers made with tender, dark-red meat are among the most popular local dishes.
Lean and Flavorful
Elk burgers offer a unique twist on the classic beef burger. They are leaner and higher in protein than those made with beef, yet equally tender and delicious. Elk’s delicate, slightly sweet flavor pairs nicely with pretty much any classic burger topping, but it is important not to overcook it – due to its low-fat content, elk meat dries easily, so medium rare is the best way to go.
2. Frita Cubana: A Taste of Cuba
Frita Cubana (or simply frita) is a burger variety with Cuban origins. It was invented in Havana in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s (there’s still no consensus). Originally, these burgers were sold by friteros from their stands, called puestos.
A Cuban Culinary Adventure
The burgers were made with Cuban rolls, ground beef, onions, and seasonings such as smoked paprika (pimentón). They were also adorned with julienned potatoes. In 1962, Ramon Estevill brought the burgers to Miami when he opened his small eatery. Nowadays, El Rey De Las Fritas is the most popular frita joint in Miami, and the frets are made with a spicy tomato sauce, ground beef, a soft bun, red onions, and salty shoestring potatoes.
3. Australian Burger: The Beetroot Debate
An institution at many pubs, restaurants, and cafés in Australia, the Australian burger with the lot first made its appearance in the 1940s when beetroot started to be added to the burger alongside onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and meat.
The Beetroot Conundrum
The inclusion of canned beetroot on a burger was possible due to the fact that there were two canneries that opened during the 1930s and the 1940s. Today, there is still a heated debate about the inclusion of beetroot – some say it is obligatory, while others claim it’s a travesty. Burgers with beetroot rose in popularity during the 1950s and the 1960s, but in the 1970s, with the opening of fast-food chain restaurants such as McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks, its popularity began to wane.
4. Butter Burger: Wisconsin’s Rich Delight
Wisconsin’s messy contribution to the world of burgers is called the butter burger. For some, a butter burger is authentic when the ground meat is combined with butter. For others, it’s when the bun is buttered, toasted, and topped with some more butter before serving.
A Symphony of Butter
The only thing that everyone can agree on is that there must be enough butter to drip off the meat, which will usually form a small pool of butter on one’s plate. A theory says that the name comes from a place called Solly’s in Glendale, Wisconsin, operating since 1936, where the butter is added to the meat that is, again, fried in butter, and served with a side of stewed onions.
5. Chili Burger: A Hearty Delight
The chili burger is a variety of hamburger consisting of a bun and a meat patty that is topped with chili con carne, although the chili might also be served on the side. The hamburger is served open-faced in some places, and it is often topped with cheese and onions, while fries are usually served as an accompaniment.
The Origins of Spice
It is believed that the chili burger was invented in the 1920s by Thomas M. DeForest in Los Angeles.
6. Onion Burger: Oklahoma’s Crunchy Creation
Oklahoma onion burger is prepared by smashing thin slices of onions into a beef patty. The meat and onions cook together until the onions become caramelized and crispy and the meat is fully cooked. The burger usually also contains a slice of American cheese, pickles, and mustard or mayonnaise (or both), all tucked inside soft and fluffy burger buns.
A Depression-Era Innovation
It is believed that this burger was invented in the 1920s during the Depression, when onions were very cheap, and meat was expensive. People started to add onions to the patties by smashing them into the meat with the back of a spatula.
7. Bison Burger: The Taste of the Wild
A unique American burger known as the bison burger is a type of hamburger that uses meat from the North American bison. This hamburger is often called the buffalo burger as bison meat is frequently incorrectly referred to as buffalo meat.
A Lean Alternative
Although this burger has less cholesterol and fat than typical burgers, the higher price of buffalo meat makes it a special treat. The bison burger patty is typically placed inside a soft bun and served with various toppings such as onions, lettuce, tomato slices, red slaw, and cheddar cheese, with sweet fries often served on the side.
8. X-Tudo: Brazil’s Towering Creation
X-Tudo is an unusually tall burger originating from Brazil. Although not much is known about its invention, this burger (which means with everything or cheese everything when translated) has no fixed ingredients, but it always has many toppings.
A Feast of Toppings
They often include beef patties, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, melted cheese, sausages, and fried potato sticks or shoestring potatoes. This mammoth of a burger is typically served in paper trays, and eating it is no easy feat – most people can’t get their mouth around it because it’s so huge, which makes for a messy eating experience.
9. Juicy Lucy: A Cheese Lover’s Dream
Named one of Time magazine’s 17 most influential burgers, Juicy Lucy—also purposely spelled without the “i”—is a twist on the classic cheeseburger in which the cheese is melted inside the patty.
The Molten Cheese Delight
Apart from the succulent beef, this cheeseburger also carries another quarter-pound of controversy, mostly due to the feud about its origin, as there are two Minneapolis burger eateries claiming its invention. Matt’s Bar & Grill put it on the menu shortly after its opening in 1954 when a local customer asked for two hamburger patties with a slice of cheese in the middle.
10. Cheeseburger: A Timeless Classic
A cheeseburger is a natural evolution of the beloved hamburger, the only difference between the two being that the cheeseburger has a slice of cheese added on top of the meat patty.
The Cheesy Evolution
As with most dishes that are extremely popular, the history of the cheeseburger is somewhat complicated. Adding cheese to hamburgers didn’t become popular until the mid-1920s, and there are numerous claims as to who invented the first cheeseburger. The most popular theory by far says that it was invented by a 16-year-old short-order cook named Lionel Clark Sternberger at a restaurant called The Rite Spot in Pasadena, California when he added a slice of American cheese to a sizzling meat patty.
The world of burgers is as diverse and flavorful as the cultures they hail from. Whether you prefer the exotic flavors of the X-Tudo, the savory richness of the butter burger, or the timeless classic cheeseburger, there’s a burger variety to satisfy every palate. Each one tells a unique culinary story, adding to the rich tapestry of global gastronomy.