And, in this vein, another seemingly random holiday falls on December 21st—National Hamburger Day.
Along with apple pie and crushing national debt, the image of a juicy hamburger is a tradition in the good, ol' U.S. of A.
But, the origin of this American culinary staple might surprise you.
Long before the disputed invention of the hamburger in the United States, similar dishes already enjoyed popularity in Europe.
For example, Roman recipes dating back to the 4th century detailed the preparation of isicia omentata, a baked beef patty mixed with pine kernels, peppercorns, and white wine. This Roman delicacy—which actually sounds pretty delicious—might be the hamburger's earliest predecessor.
Mongolian warriors also dined on a similar meal as early as the 12th century. The nomadic Mongols carried milk (kumis) and meat during their journeys, which they minced and formed into a fillet for sustenance throughout their travels.
After invading Russia, Kublai Khan—who makes a cameo in a British poem, you probably read in high school—actually introduced the residents of Moscow to Mongolian minced meat, leading to the creation of the steak tartare, which Germans eventually took back to their homeland.
Once back in Germany, chefs transformed the steak tartare into the Hamburg Sausage, according to a cookbook printed in 1763.
Many recipes and dishes travelled across the Atlantic Ocean during the mass European immigration to the New World, and many historians think the Hamburg America Line—a transatlantic shipping company connecting Germany and America—brought the hamburger to the U.S.
The exact origin of the hamburger is controversial, but many believe a German cook residing in a small Texas town one day placed a Hamburg steak between two bread slices, thus resulting in what we now as a hamburger.
The real story will never be known with any degree of certainty, but it's a definite fact that the hamburger is an important tradition for American fatties across the nation. So, in honor of National Hamburger Day, The Hangar will offer $.50 OFF all hamburgers on Sunday, December 21st!