Kitchen. Where does the hamburger come from, this famous sandwich with such a German name?

The hamburger, the most famous of the sandwiches, is said to have originated in Hamburg. (©New Africa / AdobeStock)

This is the story of a cult sandwich, which has become a symbol of fast food all over the world. A success story born in the USAbut whose roots are in the basins of the port of Hamburg, in the north of Germany.

The ancestor of the hamburger would indeed be a specialty of Hamburg cuisine: a slice of beef named “hamburger stück”, as an episode of Karambolage on Arte.

From the end of the 19th century, he crossed the Atlantic with German immigrants left to seek a better life in America. On the ships of the Hamburg-America Linethe shipping line that connects the German port to New York, on Hamburg-style serves, seasoned with onion or breadcrumbs.

A worldwide success

But it was when it arrived in the United States that, under the name of “hamburger steak” then “hamburger” for short, this piece of minced meat became very popular, especially in the workers’ canteenswedged between two slices of bread and drizzled with sauce.

Easy to prepare, this hot sandwich will, from the first half of the 20th century, make the fortune of American fast food chains, before returning to establish itself in Europe and then spreading throughout the world. With undeniable success since, since the hamburger is now dethroned our emblematic ham and butter in the hearts – and especially the stomachs – of the French.

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