Hmm, burgers… now we just want to sink our teeth into a juicy piece of grilled patty, sandwiched between fresh lettuce, tomatoes, melted cheese, and toasted buns! But did you know that burgers are not actually a modern day invention? They originated from Russia, Germany and, depending on who you believe, possibly even Denmark.


American? No, Roman…

Various sources suggest that the beef burger began life as far back as the 4th or 5th century AD in Rome, with a dish by the name of “Isicia Omentata”. This dish consisted of minced meat, pepper, wine, pine nuts, and Garum (a rich fish-based sauce). All of these were formed into a patty and resembled the burger meat we know and love today. In fact, the Romans have long been credited with bringing fast food enterprises – synonymous with burgers – to these shores, known as “thermopolia”.

From Hamburg With Love

The term “burger” can be used for any cooked meat, poultry or vegetable placed inside a bread bun. The terms “hamburger” and “burger” are sometimes used interchangeably, with the former also being used to refer to a beef burger and derived, of course, from the city of Hamburg in Germany.

Why though? Well, in the early 19th century, Hamburg was a popular port of departure for Germans immigrating to the USA and they clearly loved a Hamburg steak. There is a theory that the German’s originally developed a taste for steak tartare whilst in Russia which ultimately resulted in their very own dish. The inevitable happened and Hamburg steak became very popular across the pond, first appearing on menus in America in the 1800s.

The Modern Burger

So, who invented the modern burger that we love today?

There are many theories as to how the handheld phenomenon came to be, with the names Louis Lassen, Charlie Nagreen, and Otto Kuase among many others who have been credited with the invention in North America in the late 1800s and into the very early 20th century. Louis’ Lunch (opened by Lassen, a Danish immigrant), still claims to be the restaurant from which the very first burger was served in 1900.


Meanwhile, there are a few claims from around 1885 for a burger being served for the first time, albeit in slightly different forms like a meatball or ground beef sandwich. But one thing’s for sure, burgers are here to stay!

Keep Beef Patties For Longer

Have we whetted your appetite for a juicy burger? Why not make your own! Keep your beef patties for up to 7 days in a Liebherr BioFresh compartment, compared to just 1 day in a conventional fridge compartment. Browse our full range of refrigerators today.