Ghengis Khan Invented the Hamburger
Ask Yahoo! explains the origin of the hamburger:
Monday April 18, 2005
How did hamburgers get their name?
Under the Golden Arches
Dear Mickey D.:
The fast food favorite took a long, slow trip from Genghis Khan through Russia and Germany before arriving at McDonald's. Many cultures have created ground meat patties as quick, portable meals. But it wasn't until the early 20th century that the "hamburger steak" was put on bread and called a burger. The name comes from Hamburg, Germany, although the food isn't a local specialty. In the 1200s, Genghis Khan's Mongol armies ate patties of raw lamb scraps, which were tenderized under the soldiers' saddles. When the Mongols invaded Russia, these snacks caught on and became known as steak tartare because Russians called the Mongols "Tartars." In the 1600s, Russia began trading with the German port of Hamburg, and steak tartare came along for the ride.
Germans cooked up the steak dish with shredded beef and local spices. This "Hamburg steak" could also be salted and smoked so it would keep during long travels. German sailors and immigrants brought it with them to the U.S. during the 1800s. "Hamburger steak" showed up on the menu of New York's Delmonico's restaurant in the 1820s or 1830s. Soon, more places offered the dish, and cookbooks gave instructions for making it at home.
In the early 1900s, several American restaurants started putting a hamburger steak between two slices of bread or inside a bun. While the claims for "home of the burger" are disputed, no one can deny that the Mongol snack with a German name fast became an American institution.
A Hamburger Today explains more...
A Hamburger Today - Genghis Khan (1167-1227), crowned the "emperor of all emperors," and his army of fierce Mongol horsemen, known as the "Golden Horde," conquered two thirds of the then known world. The Mongols were a fast-moving, cavalry-based army that rode small sturdy ponies. They stayed in their saddles for long period of time, sometimes days without ever dismounting. They had little opportunity to stop and build a fire for their meal. The entire village would follow behind the army on great wheeled carts they called "yurts," leading huge herds of sheep, goats, oxen, and horses. As the army needed food that could be carried on their mounts and eaten easily with one hand while they rode, ground meat was the perfect choice. They would use scrapings of lamb or mutton which were formed into flat patties. They softened the meat by placing them under the saddles of their horses while riding into battle. When it was time to eat, the meat would be eaten raw, having been tenderized by the saddle and the back of the horse.