Hey, Burger Buffs!
There’s lots of different ways to fancy up a good ol’ fashioned burger. Some people like pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. Some people say ketchup. Others swear by mustard. Sometimes there’s bacon and sometimes there’s French fries. But the most basic topping that pretty much everybody is in agreement about…is cheese. The cheeseburger is an unparalleled hurdle in burger evolution.
Which is exactly why we celebrate National Cheeseburger Day yesterday! There’s something magical about this ingredient. Most popular of cheeses is processed cheese, but also frequently used are Cheddar, Swiss Cheese, Mozzarella, Blue Cheese, and (my personal favorite) Pepper Jack.
There’s a good number of people who have tried to take claim as the inventor of the cheeseburger. It’s more than possible that multiple people from different areas started adding cheese, and, thinking they were the only ones to have done it, called themselves the inventor! Adding cheese became popular in the late-20’s to mid-30’s.
One Lionel Sternberger is said to have done it the earliest, in 1926 when he was just 16 years old, working at his dad’s sandwich shop, ‘The Rite Spot,’ in Pasadena, California. He’s said to have “experimentally dropped a slab of American Cheese on a sizzling hamburger.”
The first appearance of a Cheeseburger on a menu in a restaurant is in 1928 at O’Dell’s in Los Angeles. This restaurant served a Cheeseburger smothered in chili that cost the customer only 25 cents!
There are other contenders, but like I said, it isn’t that unlikely that multiple people started doing the same thing around the same time—especially something as simple as topping a burger with cheese. After all, it just makes sense!
We all love cheeseburgers here at Everything Summer Camp. How much do you love this most American of American foods? Celebrate Cheeseburger Day belatedly if you didn’t do it yesterday and, as always, thanks for reading.