Wednesday, February 07, 2007


According to food blogger Adam Kuban (someone get him a dictionary and a map), a trans-continental hubbub is brewing over the divisive question that has haunted Americans throughout our proud history:
Which state of the union invented the hamburger?
Yup. Seems that in a Second Civil War (or War of Northern Aggression for those of us stuck pre-1865), Texas state legislator Betty Brown and the friggin mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, John DeStefano, Jr., are exchanging slings, arrows, and wads of taxpayer dollars trying to convince the other to give up the fight & admit that the other state is the birthplace of the burger. According to DeStefano (who presides over a city that egomaniacally claims to be the birthplace of the frisbee, the padlock, football & pizza, as well as the hamburger):
It's a well-known and established fact that New Haven is the home of the hamburger. In fact, New Haven's claim to the hamburger is even supported and documented in the Library of Congress.
Yeah, great John, but it's even more well-known and established that your city is the home to urban blight, high-crime rates, insufferably snobby university students, and the last stop on one of New York's Metro-North commuter lines. And you don't even have a major sports team in your whole state. Plus, New Haven's where George Bush was born & Michael Bolton grew up. A 9 oz. burger made from ground rib-eye, oozing cheddar, and covered with fried onions and 4 strips of bacon ain't making up for those unfortunate truths, Johnny.

And Betty's from Texas. I'm sure we can find a few embarrassing facts to throw at her too. George Bush lives there now when he's not in DC, and I'm gonna bet that Bolton's been there at least a couple times.

As to the question of the birthplace of the burger, with competeing claims of New Haven in 1895 & Athens, Texas in "the late 1880's"? We're not exactly talking about the home of an architectural wonder, or the drafting of a legal document still binding to this day. Hell, it's not even the site of a famous sporting event or crowd-rousing speech, where the geeks among us (read: Me) can "feel the history," or something like that. No!

We're talking about a patty of ground meat that becomes rotten & maggot-infested in two days, let along 110 years. It's not meant to be revered as a relic. It's for eating. Immediately. Before it gets cold (and more importantly, before the goddamn fries get cold. I swear, if my fries are cold because of this dumb debate, someone's suffering for it, and it won't be pretty).

The real tragedy of course, is the inventor's failure to name the food after his own city, and not some place in Germany. The whole fight could've been avoided. We'd have The New Havener or The Athenian, or maybe even The Texan, which has a nice ring to it considering the ingredient. Simple.

As food blogger Adam Kuban could surely explain, there's no doubt as to the birthplace of the delicious Cuban Sandwich. Though he may stumble on the spelling.


Blogger Ed in Westchester said...

I want you running with that "no iPODS or phones" whilst walking story here Mike. It's right up your alley. Check out
It belongs here.

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Wow. Not so much a request as a command performance.

Hmmm, I'd better check this out.

12:19 PM  

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