Hamburger Day: Five Absurd Facts About Fast Food

Hamburger Day
Boxers, Millions in Lawsuits and Pineapple Disasters: Five Absurd Facts About Burgers

Everyone knows it, many love it: the hamburger has become an integral part of global menus.

© ROBIN UTRECHT / Picture Alliance

Hamburger comes from Hamburg. Or the United States. Or, or, or. You don’t know for sure. What we know: Burgers are one of the most popular foods in the world. May 28 is celebrated internationally as Hamburger Day.

It’s hard to imagine a world without hamburgers. It has become a part of pop culture, from a billo snack to one of the world’s most popular foods. However, it is still a matter of debate which culinary pioneer gets credit for this culinary revolution. There are many theories about who invented food. Whether the hamburger of the same name from the beautiful Hanseatic city of Germany went abroad or was developed only in the United States, or actually had someone else’s fingers – to this day it is impossible to say for sure.

But what is indisputable is that the hamburger began its glorious journey in the late 1940s in a fast food restaurant in Los Angeles. The mainstay of the McDonald’s system was the hamburger, which made the hamburger its main product. Fast food is now so popular that it is celebrated once a year around the world: May 28 “International Hamburger Day”. To celebrate the occasion, we dug up five absurd burger facts from the back rooms of the internet archives.

Fact 1: Pineapple Gate

In the 1960s, McDonald’s was in trouble. Burger sales dropped so much during Lent that the fast food industry had to come up with something. This is how the first prototype of a vegetarian burger was born. He swam hard. At that time, it is said that only six Hula hamburgers passed the checkout counter. It just didn’t meet the customer’s taste, maybe it was too much. It was, literally, a slimmed-down version of Hawaiian toast. The bun is topped with just a grilled pineapple ring and topped with a slice of cheese.

Fact 2: Pierced

Then there’s this story about boxer Cassius Clay. He had just won the 1960 Olympic gold medal in boxing. Legend has it that he walked into a fast-food restaurant with his medal, placed it out of sight on the counter, and then ordered a burger. There he was told, “We still don’t serve n********.” (in friendly translation: “We still don’t serve black people”, where the word service also means to serve). Cassius Clay, also known for his quick wit, was quoted as saying, “Well, I won’t eat them,” in response to the racist message. Later, Cassius Clay called himself Muhammad Ali. The American, who has since died, is considered the greatest boxer of all time and the only boxer to have won three world titles.

Fact 3: That’s a little secret

In the United States, the cheap burger chain McDonald’s had to deal with determined loyal customers a few years ago. It started with a piece of cheese and ended with a lament. The two customers, who frequented the fast food restaurant in Florida, preferred the Quarter Pounder, sold in Germany as Royal TS. The only thing they didn’t like was the cheese on it and the staff took it off. Problem: Even though they ordered the burger without the cheese, the price didn’t change. This angered the penny bun so much that they filed a lawsuit against the fast food chain in 2018. They demanded five million dollars. At the time, the Miami Herald quoted the indictment as saying that customers were “forced to pay for two pieces of cheese they didn’t want, order or receive in order to buy the product they wanted.”

The opening of McDonald's became a hit on TikTok - this is how the prankster fooled millions of fans

Fact 4: The “Oprah Effect”

Oprah Winfrey is an American television star. He had a great impact on the pop culture of the country with his show. The books he recommended became bestsellers, and the things he denounced were no longer tolerated by Americans. This phenomenon has become known as the “Oprah effect”. His power was so powerful that in 1996, he sued Winfrey for more than ten million dollars over a small burger comment that angered Texas ranchers. Winfrey says she will no longer eat burgers after her beef industry post. As a result, the price of beef fell sharply. In 2002, after years of litigation, a court dismissed the lawsuit. And the Winfrey beef scandal is over.

Fact 5: Expensive burgers

Burgers are no longer only sold at fast food restaurants. Hamburgers with all their extravagances have been in vogue for a while now. Burger restaurants have appeared in recent years, especially in urban areas. Even at the finest restaurants, burger options are not favored, but rather fashionable. So, it’s no surprise that in addition to cheap burger offerings, deluxe versions are also on sale. Huge sums are paid for this. Currently, the most expensive burger in the world is at the famous Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas and is the creation of chef Hubert Keller. For the Fleur Burger 5000, hungry people will have to pay more than 4600 euros. Instead, there is Wagyu beef, truffle and foie gras.


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