Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pass the burgers, hon

It's Build a Better Burger day at Sutter Home Winery in Napa Valley, if you haven't checked into Colleen's Blog yet for highlights of the finalist's cook-off she'll be posting the event results later today along with some highlights so be sure to check in throughout the day at Build a Better Burger Blog

In the mean time while you're waiting for your own backyard grill event to begin, we thought a little history of the burger might inspire you to create your own twist on the America's favorite meal on a bun hon.

About 1200AD Genghis Khan (1167-1227) led his Mongol army across the arid steppes of south west Asia, their families moving with them they followed the ageless tradition of nomadic herders; in less than a generation the Golden Horde as they were known conquered 70 percent of the known world.

Part of the Mongol success was their invention of shaved meat, which they formed into small bundles. Carried by each horseman the raw meat sustained the rider who often stayed on horseback for days on end.

By the time the Khan’s grandson Kublai Khan and his armies entered Moscow, the fabled horseman whom the Russians named Tartars were legendary as much for their ferocity as their so called “Barbarian” ways and raw chopped and seasoned meat called Steak Tartare was already a favorite among Russian chefs.

Over the centuries the curious ground meat concoction made its way westward to Europe and eventually the Americas arriving in the street corner vendor stands of New York and other East Coast ports. Smoked, seasoned and boiled, the patties quickly became known as Hamburg Steaks named after the German city of Hamburg where they were a favorite food on-the-go for sailors and middle class workers.

It wasn’t long before Hamburgers appeared on the menu with their more respectable cousins the steak at restaurants like Delmonicos and the mainstay of Genghis Kahn’s famous “Golden Horde” would soon fuel the building of another empire, the Golden Arches of McDonalds.

Now that we’ve got you primed to Build the Best Burger ever head on over to the Sutter Home’s BBB Contest page, grab a recipe and start grillin’.

Here's cooking at you, kid, Rick

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