The hamburger is one of the most popular dishes around the world, but have you ever stopped to think about its name? It’s called the hamburger, but there isn’t any ham in it. So if there is no ham in it, why does it have that name?
Beginning In Ancient Rome
Like so many other inventions, the history of the hamburger can be traced back to the Roman Empire. Romans are understood to have combined ground beef with pepper, nuts, and wine flavorings around the 1st CE century. That was the beginning of the burger, but it would be years before it would look like we know it today.
Throughout The Years
Historians have found further links to burgers from 13th-century Mongols. Horsemen would ride around with raw meat under their saddles, compressing it so it was safe to eat without cooking. Then, in the 18th century, an English cookbook included a recipe for a smoked sausage made of minced beef, which became known as the ‘Hamburg’ sausage.
The evolution of the hamburger was almost complete in the 19th century when the ‘Hamburg steak’ became a popular dish. It consisted of a slab of minced and salted beef that was mixed with breadcrumbs and onions.
That Hamburg steak was brought to the United States by German settlers, and it evolved into the dish we all know and love. Louis Lassen has been credited by Congress as serving the first American hamburger in 1900. He was reported to be the first to combine the hamburger steak with bread, which then exploded in popularity at the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis.
It turns out it’s less about ingredients and more about location for the hamburger. Thankfully, that delicacy from many years ago was brought to the masses, and we can all experience the joy of tucking into a delicious burger practically anywhere in the world.
The hot summer days are officially here. That said, whether you are firing up the grill or the stove, the heat to change up your dinner routine is present. If you are bored with the usual burgers, Occo is here to change this. Lisa Carson and Connie Wang are the founders of the brand and they have decided to take the spice brand to grill season and way beyond.
The idea behind Occo is fairly simple. Pre-portioned packets of ethically sourced spice come in groups of single-serve recipe cards. What is this, you may ask? It means no measuring or waste is required. The environmentally friendly packaged spices include “pre-measured micro amounts of high-quality spices, sealed in airtight ‘forever fresh’ spice pods” as well as a QR code that can be used to find a variety of recipes that go with them. The goal is to inspire home cooks to try new things without going broke or generating a lot of garbage.
While the spice decks, as they’re known, are exclusively available at www.eatocco.com, you can keep up with the latest spice blends by following @eatocco on Twitter. Burger au Poivre, Spicy Sichuan Burger, Lebanese Kafta Burger, and Garlic & Herb Butter Burger are among the new flavors available in the Burger Sampler packages.
Award-Winning Chefs Approve Occo’s Idea
Occo partnered with a host of award-winning chefs to offer a variety of recipes and signature spice decks when it first launched. The following recipes were prepared by chefs such as Nina Compton, Asha Gomez, Gregory Gourdet, Deuki Hong, Mei Lin, and Adriana Urbina to help home cooks widen their horizons and demystify the often difficult and expensive process of harvesting spices.
Chef Deck Cards include:
- Kebabs Four Ways by Chef Mei Lin
- Any-Season One-Pan Meals by Chef Gregory Gourdet
- Grand Latin American by Chef Adriana Urbina
- Cook in Color by Chef Asha Gomez
- Caribbean-Creole Bistro by Chef Nina Compton
- Late Nite Koreatown by Chef Deuki Hong
Occo is also intended to assist cooks in learning the fundamentals, stocking their pantries, and experimenting with novel flavor combinations. Cooks are also encouraged to make their own cards with a mix-and-match component to add variety to their culinary routine. For more ideas, see the pre-made cards below or follow @eatocco on Instagram.
- American Overachiever has eight unique spices that provide a special touch to your cookery.
- The Herb Garden is a collection of 16 dried herbs with a wide range of uses and seasons.
- The Chile Sampler is a collection of eight ground chile peppers from around the world that honors our shared passion for heat.
- The Pepper Sampler includes eight different types of ground pepper to help you broaden your salt’s social circle.
- The Cinnamon Sampler has four distinct cinnamons, allowing everyone to decide which is the finest.