As the world celebrates International Cheeseburger Day, we look back at the cheeseburger’s rise from a dinky sandwich shop in America to a cultural phenomenon across the globe.
It is said the origins of the humble cheeseburger can be traced back to 1926, when the curious adolescent mind of 16-year-old Lionel Sternberger dared to chuck a slice of American cheese on top of a sizzling burger patty in his father’s sandwich shop in Pasadena, California.
Conspiracy theorists say that the inspiration came from a passing homeless man who suggested that cheese should be added to hamburgers, while the more skeptical cheeseburger historians among us dispute Lionel’s claims altogether.
Whatever the story, you can only imagine the twinkle in young Lionel’s eye as he watched the cascading cheese drape the naked patty in a cloak of melted, gooey deliciousness. A cacophony of sights, sounds and smells to bring a hearty smile to even the sternest of faces – a cultural revolution was born.
Since that seminal moment in history, the cheeseburger has reserved a special place in the hearts and minds of millions across the world. There is something about a juicy beef patty ensconced in billowing cheese and slapped between two perfectly crisp buns that resonates with people.
Is it the combination of mouth-watering flavours? Yes.
Is it the contrasting textures of the crunchy bread, hearty patty and impossibly creamy cheese? Absolutely.