Cheeseburger
Overview
 
A cheeseburger is a hamburger
Hamburger
A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat usually placed inside a sliced bread roll...

 with cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

 that has been added to it. Traditionally, the cheese is placed on top of the patty
Patty
A patty is a flattened cake, often of meat.Patty may also refer to:* Patty , a family name* Patricia, a female given name, in all forms of English* Patrick , a male given name, in Australian English and Hiberno-English...

, but the burger can include many variations in structure, ingredients, and composition. The term itself is a portmanteau of the words "cheese" and "hamburger." The cheese is usually sliced, and then added to the cooking hamburger patty shortly before the patty is completely cooked which allows the cheese to melt.
Encyclopedia
A cheeseburger is a hamburger
Hamburger
A hamburger is a sandwich consisting of a cooked patty of ground meat usually placed inside a sliced bread roll...

 with cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

 that has been added to it. Traditionally, the cheese is placed on top of the patty
Patty
A patty is a flattened cake, often of meat.Patty may also refer to:* Patty , a family name* Patricia, a female given name, in all forms of English* Patrick , a male given name, in Australian English and Hiberno-English...

, but the burger can include many variations in structure, ingredients, and composition. The term itself is a portmanteau of the words "cheese" and "hamburger." The cheese is usually sliced, and then added to the cooking hamburger patty shortly before the patty is completely cooked which allows the cheese to melt. Cheeseburgers are often served with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, mayonnaise, or ketchup. In fast food
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

 restaurants, the cheese used is typically processed cheese
Processed cheese
Processed cheese, process cheese, cheese slice, prepared cheese, cheese singles or cheese food is a food product made from normal cheese and sometimes other unfermented dairy ingredients, plus emulsifiers, extra salt, food colorings, or whey...

, but there are variations, such as cheddar
Cheddar cheese
Cheddar cheese is a relatively hard, yellow to off-white, and sometimes sharp-tasting cheese, produced in several countries around the world. It has its origins in the English village of Cheddar in Somerset....

, Swiss cheese
Swiss cheese
Swiss cheese is a generic name in North America for several related varieties of cheese which resemble the Swiss Emmental. Some types of Swiss cheese have a distinctive appearance, as the blocks of the cheese are riddled with holes known as "eyes". Swiss cheese has a piquant, but not very sharp,...

, mozzarella
Mozzarella
Mozzarella is an Italian Traditional Speciality Guaranteed food product. The term is used for several kinds of Italian cheeses that are made using spinning and then cutting :...

, blue cheese
Blue cheese
Blue cheese is a general classification of cow's milk, sheep's milk, or goat's milk cheeses that have had cultures of the mold Penicillium added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue, blue-gray or blue-green mold, and carries a distinct smell, either from that or...

, and pepper jack.

When cheese is added to a burger the nutritional value of the burger can be changed substantially. For example, a slice of Cheddar cheese can add 95 calories and 4.5 grams of saturated fat to a burger. Other types and amounts of cheese would have varying effects, depending on their nutritional content.

History

Adding cheese to hamburgers became popular in the mid-1920s to mid-1930s, and there are several competing claims as to who created the first cheeseburger. Lionel Sternberger is reputed to have invented the cheeseburger in the mid-1920s at the age of 16 when he was working as a fry cook at his father's Pasadena, California
Pasadena, California
Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is the home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology , the Jet...

 sandwich shop, "The Rite Spot," and "experimentally dropped a slab of American cheese on a sizzling hamburger."

Other restaurants say they invented the cheeseburger. For example, Kaelin's Restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville, Kentucky
Louisville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kentucky, and the county seat of Jefferson County. Since 2003, the city's borders have been coterminous with those of the county because of a city-county merger. The city's population at the 2010 census was 741,096...

, say they invented the cheeseburger in 1934. One year later, a trademark
Trademark
A trademark, trade mark, or trade-mark is a distinctive sign or indicator used by an individual, business organization, or other legal entity to identify that the products or services to consumers with which the trademark appears originate from a unique source, and to distinguish its products or...

 for the name "cheeseburger" was awarded to Louis Ballast of the Humpty Dumpty Drive-In in Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

.

Variations

Ingredients

The ingredients used to create cheeseburgers follow similar patterns found in the regional variations of hamburgers. Popular regional toppings can include bacon
Bacon
Bacon is a cured meat prepared from a pig. It is first cured using large quantities of salt, either in a brine or in a dry packing; the result is fresh bacon . Fresh bacon may then be further dried for weeks or months in cold air, boiled, or smoked. Fresh and dried bacon must be cooked before eating...

, avocado
Avocado
The avocado is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel...

 or guacamole
Guacamole
Guacamole , is an avocado-based dip that originated in Mexico. It is traditionally made by mashing ripe avocados with a molcajete with sea salt. Some recipes call for limited tomato, spicy Asian spices such as white onion, lime juice, and/or additional seasonings.-History:Guacamole was made by...

, sliced sautéed
Sautéing
Sautéing is a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. Ingredients are usually cut into pieces or thinly sliced to facilitate fast cooking. The primary mode of heat transfer during sautéing is conduction between the pan and the food being...

 mushroom
Mushroom
A mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source. The standard for the name "mushroom" is the cultivated white button mushroom, Agaricus bisporus; hence the word "mushroom" is most often applied to those fungi that...

s or onions, cheese sauce and/or chili
Chili con carne
Chili con carne is a spicy stew. The name of the dish derives from the Spanish chile con carne, "chili pepper with meat". Traditional versions are made, minimally, from chili peppers, garlic, onions, and cumin, along with chopped or ground beef. Beans and tomatoes are frequently included...

. Somewhat less common ingredients include egg
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

, feta cheese, salsa
Salsa (sauce)
Salsa may refer to any type of sauce. In American English, it usually refers to the spicy, often tomato based, hot sauces typical of Mexican and Central American cuisine, particularly those used as dips. In British English, the word typically refers to salsa cruda, which is common in Mexican ,...

, jalapeño
Jalapeño
The jalapeño is a medium-sized chili pepper that has a warm, burning sensation when eaten. A mature jalapeño fruit is 2–3½ inches long and is commonly picked and consumed while still green, but occasionally it is allowed to fully ripen and turn crimson red...

s and other kinds of chile peppers, anchovies, slices of ham or bologna
Bologna sausage
Bologna sausage is an American sausage derived from and definitely not similar to the Italian mortadella . It is commonly called boloney, baloney or, more formally, bologna...

, horseradish
Horseradish
Horseradish is a perennial plant of the Brassicaceae family, which also includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbages. The plant is probably native to south eastern Europe and the Arab World , but is popular around the world today...

, sauerkraut
Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut , directly translated from German: "sour cabbage", is finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria, including Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus, and Pediococcus. It has a long shelf-life and a distinctive sour flavor, both of which result from the lactic acid...

, pastrami
Pastrami
Pastrami , is a popular delicatessen meat usually made from beef and, traditionally in Romania, also from pork and mutton. In Israel, "Pastrama" is the term used for sliced chicken and turkey. Like corned beef, pastrami was originally created as a way to preserve meat before modern refrigeration...

 or teriyaki
Teriyaki
Teriyaki is a cooking technique used in Japanese cuisine in which foods are broiled or grilled in a sweet soy sauce marinade...

-seasoned beef, tartar sauce
Tartar sauce
Tartare sauce is a creamy white sauce frequently used to season fried seafood dishes.-Composition:...

, french fries
French fries
French fries , chips, fries, or French-fried potatoes are strips of deep-fried potato. North Americans tend to refer to any pieces of deep-fried potatoes as fries or French fries, while in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, long, thinly cut slices of deep-fried potatoes are...

, onion rings
Onion rings
Onion rings are a form of fast food commonly found in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and some parts of Asia. They generally consist of a cross-sectional "ring" of onion dipped in batter or breading and then deep fried; a variant is made with onion paste...

, potato chips, a pat of butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

, pineapple
Pineapple
Pineapple is the common name for a tropical plant and its edible fruit, which is actually a multiple fruit consisting of coalesced berries. It was given the name pineapple due to its resemblance to a pine cone. The pineapple is by far the most economically important plant in the Bromeliaceae...

 and tofu
Tofu
is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

.

A cheeseburger may have more than one hamburger patty
Patty
A patty is a flattened cake, often of meat.Patty may also refer to:* Patty , a family name* Patricia, a female given name, in all forms of English* Patrick , a male given name, in Australian English and Hiberno-English...

 and more than one slice of cheese. A stack of two patties is called a double cheeseburger; a triple cheeseburger has three, and a quadruple has four.

Israel

Traditionally, the cheeseburger is not kosher
Kashrut
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

as it combines ground beef and cheese. Mixtures of milk and meat
Milk and meat in Jewish law
Mixtures of milk and meat are prohibited according to Jewish law. This dietary law, basic to kashrut, is based on a verse in the Book of Exodus, which forbids "boiling a goat in its mother's milk"...

  are prohibited according to Jewish law
Halakha
Halakha — also transliterated Halocho , or Halacha — is the collective body of Jewish law, including biblical law and later talmudic and rabbinic law, as well as customs and traditions.Judaism classically draws no distinction in its laws between religious and ostensibly non-religious life; Jewish...

- Halakha . This dietary law, basic to kashrut
Kashrut
Kashrut is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha is termed kosher in English, from the Ashkenazi pronunciation of the Hebrew term kashér , meaning "fit" Kashrut (also kashruth or kashrus) is the set of Jewish dietary laws. Food in accord with halakha (Jewish law) is termed...

, is based on a verse in the Book of Exodus which forbids "boiling a (kid) goat in its mother's milk". This prohibition appears again in Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible, and of the Jewish Torah/Pentateuch...

. This dietary law sparked controversy in Jerusalem when McDonald's began opening franchises there that sold cheeseburgers. Since that time, McDonald's has opened both kosher and non-kosher restaurants in Israel.

New York City

In an attempt to provide a "kosher cheeseburger", a kosher restaurant in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 created a controversial cheeseburger variation which replaces cheese with soy cheese
Soy cheese
Cheese analogues are cheese substitutes made most frequently from soybeans but also made from rice, almonds, nutritional yeast and other non-dairy ingredients. Cheese analogues, just like plant-based milk substitutes, are available in many of the same varieties as their cheese counterparts...

.

See also

  • Cheeseburger bill
  • Cheeseburger in Paradise
    Cheeseburger In Paradise
    "Cheeseburger in Paradise" is a song written and performed by American popular music singer Jimmy Buffett. It appeared on his 1978 album Son of a Son of a Sailor and was released as a single, reaching #32 on the Billboard Hot 100...

  • Jucy Lucy
    Jucy Lucy
    A Jucy Lucy or Juicy Lucy is a cheeseburger having the cheese inside the meat patty rather than on top. A piece of cheese is surrounded by raw meat and cooked until it melts, resulting in a molten core of cheese within the patty...

  • Patty melt
    Patty melt
    A patty melt is a type of sandwich consisting of a hamburger patty, pieces of sautéed or grilled onion, and Cheddar or Swiss cheese between two slices of bread...

  • Slider
    Slider (sandwich)
    A slider is a small sandwich, typically around across, served in a bun. The term primarily refers to small hamburgers, but can also cover any small sandwich served on a slider roll...

  • Steamed Cheeseburger
    Ted's Restaurant
    Ted's Restaurant in Meriden, Connecticut is a hamburger restaurant that is known for their steamed cheeseburger. Steamed cheeseburgers are a regional food particular to very few establishments in Meriden, Connecticut where it was invented in the early 1900s...


Famous specialty hamburgers that regularly come with cheese:
  • Big Mac
    Big Mac
    The Big Mac is a hamburger sold by McDonald's, an international fast food restaurant chain. It is one of the company's signature products...

  • Quarter Pounder
    Quarter Pounder
    The Quarter Pounder is a hamburger product sold by international fast food chain McDonald's, originally containing a patty with a precooked weight of a quarter of a pound .-History:...

  • Thickburger
  • List of sandwiches
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