In one of our earlier blog entries, the culinary experts at Texas Chicken & Burger went into detail regarding the historical origins of Hamburgers, one of the cornerstones of our fresh, never frozen fast food business. In this blog entry, we’re going to discuss the history of Cheeseburgers, a subset of fast food that’s a true American Icon.
Many culinary history buffs give credit to a person named Lionel Sternberger, who, when he was 16 in the year 1924, placed a slice of American cheese onto a still-cooking hamburger while serving up food at his Pasadena, California family restaurant, the Rite Spot. He thought it was delicious as well as his entire family, and it quickly became a menu item called a “cheese hamburger.”The first known use of the term ‘cheeseburger’ happened at a Louisville, Kentucky restaurant called Kalelin’s. Charles Kaelin claims to be the inventor of the cheeseburger, in his desire to “add a new tang to the hamburger,” and Kaelin’s to this day claims to be the ‘birthplace of the cheeseburger.” However, the word cheeseburger was actually trademarked in 1935 by a man named Louis Ballast from Denver’s Humpty-Dumpty Drive In. Other reputed originators of the cheeseburger include: Los Angeles’ ‘O’Dell’s’ in 1928, and the chain Steak ‘n Shake - whose owner claims to have attempted to trademark the term ‘cheeseburger’ only to have his request rejected.
Contemporary Versions of Cheeseburgers
Popular contemporary versions of this classic food include the fried and smashed patty - a burger type that probably originated in the 1930s, around the same time as the popular cheeseburger. These burgers are always cooked well done, and served with all the fixings. Bar burgers showed up on the American scene a few decades later on, and are cooked to order of rawness, along with a customizable roster of cheeses or toppings. And finally, gourmet burgers are like bar burgers with upscale and unusual toppings, and high quality buns.