|Place of origin||United States|
|Main ingredients||Ground beef patty, cheese and bread buns|
|600-1500 kcal (-5680 kJ)|
|Cookbook: Cheeseburger Media: Cheeseburger|
A cheeseburger is a hamburger topped with cheese. Traditionally, the slice of cheese is placed on top of the meat patty, but the burger can include many variations in structure, ingredients, and composition. The cheese is normally added to the cooking hamburger patty shortly before the patty is entirely cooked, which allows the cheese to melt. As with other hamburgers, a cheeseburger may include toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, or bacon.
Adding cheese to hamburgers became popular in the late-1920s to mid-1930s, and there are several competing claims as to who created the first cheeseburger. Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have introduced the cheeseburger in 1926 at the age of 16 when he was working as a fry cook at his father's Pasadena, California sandwich shop, "The Rite Spot," and "experimentally dropped a slab of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger."
Other restaurants say they invented the cheeseburger. For example, Kaelin's Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, said it invented the cheeseburger in 1934. One year later, a trademark for the name "cheeseburger" was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado. According to Steak 'n Shake archives, the restaurant's founder, Gus Belt, applied for a trademark on the word in the 1930s.
The ingredients used to create cheeseburgers follow similar patterns found in the regional variations of hamburgers. Popular regional toppings include bacon, avocado or guacamole, sliced sautéed mushrooms or onions, cheese sauce and/or chili. Less common ingredients include egg, feta cheese, salsa, jalapeños and other kinds of chili peppers, anchovies, slices of ham, mustard, gyros meat, or bologna, horseradish, sauerkraut, pastrami or teriyaki-seasoned beef, tartar sauce, french fries, onion rings, potato chips, a pat of butter, pineapple and tofu.
A cheeseburger may have more than one hamburger patty and more than one slice of cheese. A stack of two patties is called a double cheeseburger; a triple cheeseburger has three, and a quadruple has four. Some cheeseburgers are prepared with the cheese enclosed within the ground beef, rather than on top. This is sometimes known as a Jucy Lucy.
Traditionally, the cheeseburger breaches the kosher laws (Hebrew: כַּשְׁרוּת; kashrut) observed by Judaism as it combines ground beef and cheese. Mixtures of milk and meat (Hebrew: בשר בחלב, basar bechalav, literally "meat in milk") are prohibited according to Jewish religious law (Hebrew: הלכה; halakha), following a verse in the Book of Exodus in which Jews are forbidden from "boiling a (kid) goat in its mother's milk". This prohibition appears again in Deuteronomy. This dietary law sparked controversy in Jerusalem when McDonald's began opening franchises there that sold cheeseburgers. Since that time, McDonald's has opened both kosher and non-kosher restaurants in Israel.
A Burger King "Quad Stacker" cheeseburger, containing four patties and bacon
- "Lionel Clark Sternberg obituary". Time. 7 February 1964. Retrieved 18 May 2007. (subscription required (. ))
…at the hungry age of 16, [Sternberger] experimentally dropped a slice of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger while helping out at his father's sandwich shop in Pasadena, thereby inventing the cheeseburger…
- Harvey, Steve (27 March 1991). "Only in L.A.". Los Angeles Times. p. B2.
Cooking at his father's short-order joint in Pasadena in the early 1920s, [Sternberger] experimentally tossed a slice (variety unknown) on a hamburger...
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- Tice, Carol (28 January 2002). "In-N-Out Burgers: With an emphasis on quality, this fast feeder shows its rare appeal. (Regional Powerhouse Chains)". Nation's Restaurant News – via Highbeam Research. (subscription required (. ))
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- Exodus 34:26
- Exodus 23:19
- Deuteronomy 14:21
- Bronner, Ethan (3 September 1995). "Big Mac under attack in Jerusalem As McDonald's rings up sales of nonkosher burgers, outcry on 'cultural identity' heard". Boston Globe. bostonglobe.com. Retrieved 21 August 2010 – via ProQuest. (subscription required (. ))
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- Montefinise, Angela (2 March 2008). "Jews Have A 'Beef'". New York Post. nypost.com. Retrieved 30 May 2014.
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