Cheddar, Swiss, Muenster, American, Havarti…..

What’s better than a cheeseburger, french fries, and a shake?  Well the cheeseburger is so well loved, that it has it’s own holiday.  Well, sorta!  National Cheeseburger Day is on September 18th, and honors America’s favorite sandwich with a slice of cheese.  How much do you know about the origins of the cheeseburger? Cheeseburger’s can be linked as far back as the 1920’s as a menu main-stay.  Here are just a few citations of the use of this remarkable delicious sandwich!

Origins of the Cheeseburger

  • One story suggests that Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in 1926 while working at his father’s Pasadena, California sandwich shop, The Rite Spot.  During an experiment, he dropped a slice of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger. 
  • A cheeseburger appeared on a 1928 menu at O’Dell’s, a Los Angeles restaurant, which listed a cheeseburger, smothered with chili, for 25 cents. (25 cents?  Yes, please!) 
  • Kaelin’s Restaurant – Louisville, Kentucky says it invented the cheeseburger in 1934.
  • Denver, Colorado – 1935 – A trademark for the name “cheeseburger” was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In.
  • According to its archives, Gus Belt, founder of Steak n’ Shake, applied for a trademark on the word “cheeseburger” in the 1930’s.

Whatever the true beginnings of our beloved cheeseburger may be, we can all agree that a summer bbq would not be the same without cheeseburgers on the menu!  So observe National Cheeseburger Day by visiting your favorite burger joint and order up a delicious cheeseburger.

cook chill natl burger day

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