September 18th is “National Birth of the Burger Day." The day commemorates the invention of the hamburger sandwich that took place during the 1885 Erie County Fair by Frank and Charles Menches of Canton, Ohio.
“Birth of the Hamburger in Hamburg” Canton, Ohio natives Frank and Charles Menches were food vendors at the 1885 Erie County Fair, also known as the Hamburg Fair. Legend has it that during the course of the Fair, the Menches ran out of their signature menu item of pork sausage sandwiches. Their local supplier, Hamburg butcher Andrew Klein, was reluctant to butcher more hogs during a period of unseasonable late summer heat and suggested to substitute the use of ground beef. The brothers fired some up, but both found it dry and bland. They added coffee, brown sugar and other ingredients to create a unique taste. The original sandwiches were sold with just ketchup and sliced onions. With new found success with their beef sandwich, they christened it the “hamburger” after the Erie County Fair’s home town of Hamburg, New York.
Why September 18th? Until the early 1920s, the Erie County Fair was held mid to late September or as late as early October to celebrate the agricultural harvest. The 1885 Erie County Fair, the event that saw the invention of the hamburger, was held September 16th-18th, 1885.
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