March is International Hamburger and Pickle Month

Are you salivating yet! Sure glad I had a great lunch before embarking on this article, or I’d be running out to a burger joint!

I’m happy to report that the month of March has been designated International Hamburger & Pickle Month! We can’t seem to find out just exactly when this wondrous celebratory event originated, but I did find some history on hamburgers.

An easily recognizable definition of a hamburger is: a cooked ground meat pattie that can be served with various garnishes of one’s choice, as in ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, onion or pickle relish, pickles, cheese (can be one of your 3 Everyday of Dairy servings) and anything else you want and then it’s usually placed in a bun.

As for pickles, don’t think of them originating only from cucumbers!!  There are sauerkraut pickled peppers, pickled onions or even pickled tomatoes.  I have to try some of those; are you game too?

Here’s your history lesson for today: the hamburg steak was readily enjoyed in Hamburg, Germany, in the mid 1800’s.  German immigrants coming to our land brought this edible treasure to our shores with it being found on US menus as early as 1836.

The first recipe close to what we now describe as a hamburger was ground beef mixed with onions & peppers and that was in 1902.   We now commonly grind up many other forms of meat, as in pork, chicken, turkey, bison, or even meat-substitutes, and sometimes add minced veggies or other ingredients into the patties before grilling/cooking.   Some of us are purists-we want plain ground meat burgers and then we go wild with toppings and fancy buns.  I almost always top my burgers with some form of delicious cheese and pickles!  I’m on a horseradish-flavored cheese kick right now. And, if you don’t think that adds zip to my burgers, you don’t know what zip is!  Besides cheese and pickles my favorite ” burger finishing touch” is salsa!

So, are you ready to celebrate International Hamburger & Pickle Month?!  Let’s do so this March and don’t forget to salute German immigrants who brought this “vundebar” creation to our country!!  And remember to top those burgers off with pickles-whether dill, sweet, relish or whatever!