[Sca-cooks] Burger battle

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Jan 20 16:23:33 PST 2007

On Jan 20, 2007, at 5:37 PM, Suey wrote:

> Johnna Holloway  wrote:
>> . . . Andy Smith indicates the origins are vague. Hamburg steak  
>> was on Delmonico's menu as early as 1834. That may be the NYC  
>> claim. Hamburgers were sold from a lunch wagon in New Haven
>> by 1900S. . .
> According to Benavides-Barajas the recipe for hamburger originated in
> Persia and was brought to Al-Andalus by the Arabs. It was a popular  
> dish
> in the Alhambra flavored with onion and honey and decorated with  
> chopped
> walnuts or apple and served with honey.
> Susan

That's certainly useful information in itself, but I'm not completely  
convinced that what Benavides-Barajas is describing constitutes a  
hamburger, even after you consider the possibility for Turkish-style  
grilled kofta dishes to have made it to Germany and then to the US  
(as it seems clear that they _did_ migrate to places like Hungary and  
Yugoslavia). But I believe the dish of steak-in-the-style-of-the-city- 
of-Hamburg is part of a different tradition with different cultural  

In the end, I'm left wondering whether Benavides-Barajas actually  
used the word "hamburger", thinking it might have been (or would have  
to have been) used only in the very broadest sense if he did. If this  
is just a matter of somebody translating some kofta-or-kebab-type  
word, or "albondiga", say, into "hamburger", this makes more sense,  
even though those aren't really hamburger dishes in the strict sense.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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