College Retrospective

March 19, 2010

What constitutes a burger?

Filed under: Just a thought..., Living Life Healthy — johnyourk @ 3:52 pm

     I’m doing track for the local college, and I don’t eat fast food during track season(or drink soda). So I have a kind of unofficial ritual of going to eat at a fast food place the day before track officially starts. This was a couple weeks ago, but this track season, I’ve been a little less strict about my diet, but as of today, I’m eating healthy.

     Anyway, when I was in “in n out” last weekend eating a double-double, I was thinking about it, and me and Charlie had a whole conversation about what a burger really is. Is it the meat? or is it the bread?

     With the meat, first off, any sliced meats, don’t count. So arby’s isn’t even close to a burger even though they have burger buns. If its sliced meat, no matter what, it isn’t a burger. So pastrami and salami and roast beef and ham and such, aren’t burgers, only sandwiches. Only things that are “patties” count. So it pretty much leaves chicken and beef patties. Because some people call them chicken sandwiches, but I have heard of them being called “chicken burgers”, which to me doesn’t sound right. And they do look like burgers, but with chicken instead of beef. So I don’t know what to call it, but I’ll probably stick to chicken sandwiches. And then, it got me to think of other burger types, and I couldn’t really think of one, ’til I thought of the soy “meat” burger. It looks like a burger, tastes like a burger(kinda), but does it count? To me, its like margarine and butter. It’s a healthier substitute to butter, is considered “like” butter, but it’s still margarine. I don’t think those are burgers, they are more like pseudo-burgers. (And one thing I did realized after, was that beef patties by themselves are called burger patties, but not chicken)

     Then I thought about the bread types that could be used with a burger. For one,. no matter what, with a burger meat, if there is a sesame seed bun or a regular burger bun, it’s a burger. But what about sandwich bread? When I make burgers at home, for the most part, we don’t have buns, so I always used toasted sandwich bread. This doesn’t feel like a burger to me, but it could easily be argued otherwise. Then, what about others? Like croissants, or sourdough bread. Jack-in-the-box likes using those breads for their sandwiches(or burgers?). “Jack” is one orf my favorite fast food joints(another west U.S.A. place), and their burgers still are burgers to me, but I really don’t think about this on a regular basis(really, I don’t think about random things like this that often).

     And, all burgers are sandwiches no matter what. The etymology of sandwich comes from the “earl of sandwich”, who was a serious gambler, going days without leaving the table, and would have his servants make him food so he wouldn’t have to stop the game, and the sandwich was born, meat in the middle of two slices of bread. Burgers are just a more specific type of sandwich. So, in the end, I’m just going to call them all sandwiches. It’ll make my life much easier. And I’m doing track now, so it’s not like I’m going to any burger joint soon anyway.


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