The burger story begins in the East not the West with Genghis Khans Mongol Cavalry.
The troops used to carry raw meat for rations in their leather saddle bags, of which during a long ride would tear and rub the meat. This would also tenderise and press it. When it came to eating, the meat would be almost patty-like. The men would use a metal shield placed over a fire to cook, now seen as the earliest form of a burger. When Khan’s grandson invaded Russia in the Thirteenth century, his army brought the saddle patties with them and steak tartare was born, tartare is the Russian name for Mongol.
By the 1600’s steak tartare had travelled via sea traders to the port of Hamburg where it then became known as the Hamburg steak. Due to a lack ofrefridgeration this was probably salted, smoked or fried and maybe all three. The trade between Hamburg and America brought vendors across the Atlantic to sell “steak cooked in the Hamburg style” to travelling Sailors. These ideas travelled to the States and the concept of a Hamburger was born.
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