I like mine with lettuce and tomato
In 1926 Lionel Sternberger was working as a fry cook in his father’s restaurant, The Rite Spot, in Pasadena, California. At the age of 16, Sternberger decided to slap a piece of American cheese on top of a sizzling hamburger patty. Just like that, the cheeseburger was born.
However, a now closed restaurant in Kentucky, Kaelin’s Restaurant, claims they invented the classic combination in 1934. A year later in Denver, Colorado, the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In was awarded the trademark name, according to the History of The Cheeseburger. It’s no surprise that many places want credit for the creation of this All-American sandwich. Regardless of who put cheese on a burger patty first, they probably didn’t realize the lasting affect that decision had.
The thought of a cheeseburger brings images of Fourth of July cookouts and fast food drive-thrus. The sandwich also pervades American culture, including music, such as the 1970’s classic ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise.‘ The song was released in 1978 on Jimmy Buffett’s album Son of a Sailor.
Buffett sings about his cheeseburger preference in the song, “I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Heinz 57 and french-fried potatoes. Big kosher pickle and a cold draught beer, well good god Almighty which way do I steer?” Many American style diners and pubs offer a classic cheeseburger prepared just like that. However, there are countless variations of cheeseburger recipes that make it possible for just about anyone to find one they would enjoy.
There’s something so satisfying about molding a ground beef patty into the perfect circle, and pressing it onto a hot grill. Make sure to cook the patty equally on both sides, until it’s a little rare and juicy in the middle. Then melt a slice of cheese on top and place it between two toasted hamburger buns. Finish it off with toppings like lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and condiments. It’s hard to mess up a cheeseburger because it’s all about personal preference. Whether you like turkey burgers, veggie burgers, or seafood patties there seems to be a recipe out there for everyone.
At the end of the day, Jimmy Buffett says it best, “Cheeseburger is paradise. Heaven on earth with an onion slice. Not too particular, not too precise.” The simplicity of a classic cheeseburger makes it a timeless favorite to share with family and friends.
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