What does the German word Hamburger mean?
Many people think that the name Hamburger derives from the word ham; instead it finds its origin in the German city of Hamburg. There are many stories about the origin and several people have claimed to be the inventor of the meal.
One of these stories is that from the 17th century many people left Hamburg’s Harbor in Europe to find their luck in the new world, America. One of the meals served on board their ocean passage was Rundstück karg or Rundstück warm, a slice of Schweinebraten or roast pork on one or two halves of a roll covered with a sauce or relish. In order to avoid expensive restaurants, something handy needed to be invented that could be eaten without knife and fork. For simplicity the two roll halves were folded together, and in this way the meal could be eaten by hand.
Another story says that the invention was made by a German immigrant at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 who, for the first time, sold his hamburgers with a meat patty inside a roll so that his guests wouldn’t get dirty hands. Something is sure, that for the first time Frikadellenbrötchen, rolls with a meat patty, under the name Hamburg were sold.
Several rivals claimed to having been the inventor, but there has never been a conclusive determination.